Williams goes on trial for Gomez homicide Sept. 11

Indiana man is charged with first-degree murder

Phillip Williams

A man accused of killing a Fort Dodge woman late last summer has pleaded not guilty to the charge and will stand trial later this year.

Phillip A. Williams, 26, of Lafayette, Indiana, is set to have his trial begin on Sept. 11.

He is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Jessica Gomez, 26, of Fort Dodge, last August in Clare.

Williams pleaded not guilty to the charge on Monday.

He and Mackenzie Knigge, 27, of Clare, who is also charged with first-degree murder, are accused of killing Gomez in Knigge’s Clare apartment “on or about” Aug. 5, 2017.

Mackenzie Knigge

Knigge and Gomez, who were once described as friends, were publicly reported missing on Aug. 9, 2017.

Knigge was arrested in connection with the case on Aug. 10, 2017, in Lafayette, Indiana. She was a passenger in a stolen Pontiac Montana minivan that was stopped by police there.

Williams was also in the minivan.

Gomez’s burned body was found in a ditch along Indiana Avenue near Clare on Aug. 12, 2017.

Knigge was returned to Iowa shortly after her arrest, and her trial was recently continued to Nov. 26.

Jessica Gomez

Williams was extradited back to Iowa on July 7. He had to answer to charges he was facing in Indiana prior to his extradition.

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