Williams sentenced up to 30 years in prison

The man who admitted he put Jessica Gomez in a chokehold and later helped burn her body to cover up her death was sentenced Monday afternoon in Webster County District Court.

Phillip Williams, of Lafayette, Indiana, was sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.

He previously pleaded guilty to attempted murder; abuse of a human corpse, and accessory after the fact.

The sentences on each of his charges will be served consecutively.

Attempted murder is a class B forcible felony. Abuse of a human corpse is a class D felony.

Williams faces up to 25 years on the attempted murder conviction. He faces up to to five years on the abuse of a human corpse.

Accessory after the fact is an aggravated misdemeanor and will be addressed separately from Monday’s sentencing in written form.

District Court Judge Thomas Bice sentenced Williams to the maximum periods of incarceration allowed by law on the counts of attempted murder and abuse of a human corpse.

Upon sentencing, Bice said, “The way that body was disposed of is despicable. Total lack of respect for humanity itself and the basis of our very civilization. I have no sympathy for you sir.”

Williams will not be eligible for parole until he serves 70 percent of the maximum sentence.

Full story in tomorrow’s Messenger.