Trial for man accused of murdering Jessica Gomez pushed back to 2019

Phillip Williams is facing a first-degree murder charge; Jessica Gomez’s body was found partially burned

Phillip Williams

The trial of an Indiana man accused of killing a Fort Dodge woman in Clare last August has been moved to 2019.

Phillip A. Williams, 26, of Lafayette, Indiana, is charged with first-degree murder in the August 2017 death of 26-year-old Jessica Gomez.

Chief Judge Kurt Wilke, of the 2nd Judicial District, has scheduled Williams’ trial for March 5, 2019.

Williams was originally scheduled to go on trial starting Sept. 11, but last week his attorney filed a motion requesting the trial be moved back, saying she did not have enough time to examine all of the evidence in the case prior to the original trial date.

Williams’ trial will now be held after that of Mackenzie Knigge, 27, of Clare, who is also charged with first-degree murder in Gomez’s death.

Jessica Gomez

Knigge’s trial is set for Nov. 26.

Both are accused of killing Gomez on Aug. 5, 2017, at Knigge’s apartment in Clare.

Gomez’s partially burned body was found in a roadside ditch on Aug. 12, 2017.

Williams and Knigge were arrested on Aug. 11, 2017, in Bloomington, Indiana, where they were found inside of a van that had been reported as a vehicle of interest in the investigation.

Both were charged with first-degree murder after Gomez’s body was found.

Knigge was extradited to Webster County in September 2017.

Williams was extradited to Webster County in July, after authorities in Indiana took care of charges he was facing in that state.

Both Knigge and Williams are being held in the Webster County Jail on $1 million bond.