R Kelly Associate Sentenced to 96 Months for Setting Witness’ Vehicle on Fire

Michael Williams used gasoline to light an SUV on fire

r kelly associate 96 months arson witness vehicle on fire victim

Michael Williams has been sentenced to 96 months in prison for intimidating a victim-witness in the federal R Kelly sex trafficking case by lighting her vehicle on fire.

Prosecutors showed that on June 11th, 2020, Williams doused an SUV with gasoline outside of a Florida home where one of Kelly’s victims had been staying. It belonged to the woman’s father, and along with lighting it ablaze, Williams wrote him a threatening message. “It might be wise for you to protect your daughter from heartache she’s gonna endure through this and after,” he said, according to his indictment. “She had to live with every stain you guys create publicly.”

During the trial, the federal government produced Williams’ search engine history, which showed him asking how to make explosives out of fertilizer and diesel. He also searched for laws about witness intimidation and witness tampering, as well as which countries do not have extradition agreements with the United States.

“In a violent act designed to instill fear and stop a witness from testifying at trial, Williams set fire to the victim’s vehicle in the middle of the night while it was parked outside of a residence occupied by four adults and two children,”said Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “Intimidating witnesses and threatening the safety of crime victims undermine the very fabric of our judicial system and will never be tolerated.”

Williams was one of three men charged with intimidating and bribing R Kelly’s victims. One of the others, Richard Arline Jr., pleaded guilty to attempting to pay off a witness with $500,000.

In September, R Kelly was found guilty on all counts in his federal sex trafficking case. He faces decades in prison, and was placed on suicide watch. At least his cell mate seems friendly; he wrote a comic book about their time spent hanging out together in jail.


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