Robert Dewitt Williams
CHURCH HILL — A Church Hill man who allegedly enlisted the help of his teenage daughters to burglarize a neighbor’s apartment reportedly blamed the crime solely on “them girls of mine” after stolen property was found in his possession.
Robert Dewitt Williams, 40, 734 Ordinance Dr. Apt. B-4, Church Hill, also allegedly stated that items stolen from his neighbor which were found in his apartment had been “planted.”
An apartment manager initially contacted police about the burglary Monday, although a witness reportedly stated that the burglary took place Saturday.
CHPD Officer Ken Luster met Monday evening with the manager, who stated that the victim was out of town.
Luster stated in his report there was forced entry to the steel front door, and the apartment had been ransacked.
Officer Chip Whitaker contacted the victim via telephone and described the apartment to her, and the victim was able to identify several items missing including a DVD player, flat screen TV, Wii game system, poker set, several bottles of liquor, and various DVDs.
Officers then spoke to a woman who lives with Williams next door to the victim. The woman allegedly stated that Williams knew the victim was away from home and was planning the burglary.
Detective Kevin Grigsby said the woman stated that on Saturday Williams, accompanied by his daughters, ages 13 and 16, left their apartment walking and came back a short time later carrying items from the victim's apartment that matched what had been reported missing.
Grigsby said Whitaker then went to Williams’ apartment and was given verbal consent by Williams to search the residence for the stolen items, at which time he was able to locate the DVD player, poker set, and numerous DVDs.
Williams reportedly denied any involvement in or knowledge of the burglary.
He was charged with aggravated burglary, theft over $1,000 and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor based on witness statements.
The daughters were also cited into juvenile court on the theft and burglary charges and released into the custody of their grandmother.
Charges are pending against a third juvenile who is a neighbor and allegedly served as lookout for the father and daughters during the burglary.
“After Williams was transported from the scene, I then spoke with the juvenile girls and asked if they could tell the truth about what happened, and both confessed that their father committed the burglary with their assistance,” Grigsby said.
Upon being interviewed on Wednesday, however, Williams allegedly told Grigsby it was his daughters who actually forced entry to the home along with the neighbor, and that he only watched the parties commit this crime while he was walking by the front of the victim's home.
Williams also has a newly broken foot.
CHPD Chief Mark Johnson said witnesses indicated Williams broke his foot kicking in the victim’s steel front door, although Williams claims he fell.
“He said he was in the vicinity, but certainly didn’t break into anybody’s apartment,” Johnson told the Times-News. “(Williams said) ‘It was them girls of mine’. The only thing he said about all the stuff that the officers recovered was that it must have been planted.”
Williams was arraigned Wednesday in Sessions Court and remained held in the Hawkins County Jail on $30,000 bond.