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Paroled killer sentenced in Kingsport drug conspiracy

December 19th, 2013 3:55 pm by Rain Smith

Paroled killer sentenced in Kingsport drug conspiracy

Stephen Leon Williams. Previous mugshot from the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.

A man granted parole for his conviction in a 1981 murder near the Holston River will now spend 90 months in a federal prison for dealing pills and guns.

The Eastern District of Tennessee U.S. Attorney's Office reports Stephen Leon Williams, 62, of Kingsport, conspired to distribute approximately 2,250 oxycodone pills between June 2011 and June 2013.

According to a news release, the conspiracy was centered in Kingsport. In February 2013, Williams sold 55 pills to an individual working on behalf of law enforcement. The next month, he sold five pills and a .38 caliber handgun to an undercover officer.

On Thursday, Williams was sentenced in Greeneville Federal Court to serve 90 months in prison for the offenses. Multiple law enforcement agencies participated in the investigation that prompted the indictment and conviction of Williams, including the Kingsport Police Department and Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.

At the time Williams illegally sold the pills and gun he was on parole for the first degree murder of James E. Grizzle in Hawkins County. The killing occurred in January 1981.

Grizzle reportedly hired Williams to help remodel a home along the Holston River, with the pair living in the structure while completing the work. Online court documents state that when the residence was
consumed by fire a body, later identified as Grizzle, was located inside. A liquid accelerant was determined to have been used to ignite the blaze.

The U.S. Attorney's Office reports that shortly after Williams was granted parole for his conviction in Grizzle's death he began trafficking oxycodone. After completing his 90-month federal sentence on those charges he faces revocation of his parole on the murder charge and additional prison time.

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