Sunday, August 20, 2000

Boy's family fights parole for his killer

10,000 sign petitions for hearing

By Mara H. Gottfried
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Amy Evers hopes the Ohio Parole Board will not free Adrian Williams after his parole hearing Wednesday.

        Eighteen years ago Ms. Evers stood next to her 3-year-old brother, Jason, in a Springfield Township park as he was kidnapped by Mr. Williams.

        Ms. Evers, who was 6 at the time, barely remembers the incident or the news that her brother Jason's body had been found 43 days after the Father's Day kidnapping.

        But she does know this: She saw no remorse in Mr. Williams' eyes when she visited him in the Ross Correctional Institution last May.

        “He talked to me about his family and how he doesn't get to see them,” said Ms. Evers, 24, of Western Hills.

        “But he doesn't understand that I'm never going to get to see my brother again because he took him away. I have two children now and they'll never get to meet their uncle.”

        Mr. Williams, then 17, was convicted in 1982 of involun tary manslaughter and kidnapping in the death of Jason Evers.

        He had asked the family for ransom after the boy was already dead.

        If parole is recommended, Mr. Williams could be released from the Ross County prison in October. The 35-year-old has served 18 years of a 14- to 50-year sentence.

        “I don't think he should have a right to a parole hearing,” said 47-year-old Bob Evers, Jason's father. “My son had a right to his natural life, but he took that from him. They should keep him there for 50 years.”

        The Evers family has collected about 10,000 signatures on petitions opposing Mr. Williams' release. The mily held a similar petition campaign the last time Mr. Williams was eligible for parole, which was in 1995. His parole was denied then.

        Bob, Amy and Bob's brother, Ron, met with the parole board on July 28. It was their chance to explain why they think Mr. Williams should remain in prison.

        “We vowed on Jason's grave we were going to keep him in there as long as we could,” said Ron Evers, 50, of Colerain Township. “Forever if we could, but we know that's not possible.”

        Remembering Jason is a daily heartache for Bob Evers, who now lives in West Harrison, Ind. His wife, Kim, died 11 years ago at age 30.

        There are pictures on the walls of the house showing family members growing up. But the pictures of Jason remain frozen in time — forever a brown-haired, smiling toddler on a rocking horse.

        And there are the softball games with Ron's son and another brother's son. Both are about the same age Jason would be now.

        “He has tears in his eyes when he watches us play softball,” Ron Evers said. “He would have been out there playing with Jason if he wasn't gone.”

        If Mr. Williams is granted parole, Jason's relatives say they will bring every member of their family to speak with the parole board. If that is not effective, they will try to find out where Mr. Williams is moving to tell the community of his past.

        “It's ridiculous that they make sexual predators register so communities are warned, but a child (killer) doesn't have to,” Ron Evers said. “Neighbors will need to know if they have a (killer) in their midst.”

        For now, the Everses wait for the parole board's decision Wednesday.

        “My feelings are that Williams should be released from prison when Jason comes back alive,” Ron Evers said.


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