Coralville woman pleads guilty in fatal fire incident - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Coralville woman pleads guilty in fatal fire incident


A Coralville woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to reduced charges in the arson death of her 14-year old cousin.

Lillie Williams originally faced a first degree murder charge, and was scheduled to stand trial next week.

Police say Williams intentionally started the fire in September of 2011 that took the life of Ramone Bryant, a student at Iowa City West high school. 

Wednesday Williams pleaded guilty to first degree arson, first degree burglary, and involuntary manslaughter, meaning she could spend 50 years in prison.

"Everybody's devastated, everybody's in hard times, but we're family , so we'll get through it," said Williams' daughter Kavier.

Williams stopped to say something to her daughter before exiting the courtroom.

Kavier tells us Williams agreed to the plea deal to protect her six-year-old grandson, who allegedly witnessed the crime, from having to testify.

"She did everything for my nephew so at the end of the day it's just about him.  She didn't want him to go through that," Kavier said.

The family now is trying to move on from a tragedy that cut the life of a teenager with a bright future far too short.

"Now he can rest in peace," Kavier said.

"In conjunction with talking with they Bryant's about this, who lost a 14-year-old son, that this was a resolution that everybody could live with," said Beth Beglin, with the Johnson County Attorney's Office.

Williams will be sentenced December 21st where a judge will rule whether she'll serve a 50 or 55 year term.

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