Former Royal pilot in murder case
Published 08/10/2010 | 07:12
The lawyer for a military commander who flew the Queen and other dignitaries around Canada has said his client will plead guilty to murder, sexual assaults and dozens of breaking and entering charges.
Colonel Russell Williams was the commander of Canada's largest Air Force base until he was charged earlier this year with the murder of two women, the sexual assault of two others and 82 break-ins, during which he stole women's panties.
Michael Edelson, Williams' lawyer, told a judge at a hearing that Williams intends to plead guilty to all the charges at his next court appearance on October 18.
Williams appeared at the hearing but did not speak.
The case shocked the country, hurt soldiers' morale and prompted fears that the commander of Canada's most high-profile military base and the man who once flew the country's prime ministers could have been a serial killer.
Williams, who was born in the UK and raised in Canada, was pictured with the Queen and Prince Philip on the front page of the newspaper of Canadian Forces Base Trenton while he served as their pilot during a 2005 visit.
Williams was considered a rising star in the military, but he is about to plead guilty to leading a double life as a sexual predator with an apparent fetish for women's panties.
Williams was photographed in January with Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Canada's top general during an inspection of a Canadian aircraft on its way to support relief efforts in Haiti. He is alleged to have killed his second victim just over a week later.
He faces an automatic sentence of life in prison with no possibility for parole for at least 25 years.
Williams is charged with forcible confinement, breaking and entering and sexual assault after two other women were attacked during separate home invasions in the Tweed, Ontario area in September 2009. He is also charged with breaking into 47 homes 82 times, beginning in 2007, including one home nine times.