AUGUSTA — A couple who lost their son in an execution-style killing on Christmas morning in 2015 is no longer asking a court to overturn a decision by the state’s Victims’ Compensation Fund, which refused to pay for funeral and counseling costs.

Jeffrey and Susan Williams signed a stipulation of dismissal on Friday, as did Assistant Attorney General Thomas Knowlton, according to court documents.

The Williamses did not return a phone message left Wednesday seeking comment on the dismissal.

A hearing in the appeal had been scheduled for Wednesday at the Capital Judicial Center but was not held because of the appeal being dismissed.

Eric Williams’ parents had sought $4,936 from the state Victims’ Compensation Program for the funeral and burial costs, plus funds for counseling for themselves and their older son.

The board denied the application, saying the law prevents them from paying for those things because Williams committed criminal conduct — authorities say he had burglarized an apartment hours earlier — that led to his death.


State law says, “Compensation may not be paid … to or on behalf of any person who violated a criminal law that caused or contributed to the injury or death for which compensation is sought.”

Williams’ parents had said in their application that “our son is not here to defend himself, nor put (in) his timeline of events of what happened that night according to him.”

The apartment belonged to David W. Marble Jr., also known as “Dee Money,” the man indicted on charges of murdering Eric Williams, 35, and Bonnie Royer, 26, both of Augusta.

Williams was killed just after 3:30 a.m. Dec. 25, 2015, by a single gunshot to the head as he sat in his Chevrolet Trailblazer on Sanford Road in a rural area of Manchester not far from his Augusta home. Royer, in the front passenger seat, was shot in the head and neck. She lived long enough to call 911 on Eric Williams’ cellphone and tell a dispatcher she had been shot.

Marble, now 31, and formerly of Rochester, New York, has pleaded not guilty to two charges of knowing and intentional murder and one of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and his case has been transferred to Cumberland County. The next court date is in February 2018.

A 12-page affidavit seeking an arrest warrant for Marble says Williams, two other men and a woman — not Royer — burglarized Marble’s Sewall Street apartment between 12:30 and 1:15 a.m. Dec. 25, 2015, stealing televisions, backpacks, a gun and drugs. It says they did so after learning that Marble was being driven to Westbrook, meaning the drug or “stash” house would be unoccupied.


One man interviewed by police said Williams had a key to Marble’s apartment; however, another man told police one of the burglars entered the apartment by climbing in a window and opening the door for the others.

Other people, including an unnamed informant, told police that Williams had been working for Marble. They said Williams, nicknamed “Chunkie,” was to collect Marble’s money from another drug dealer nicknamed “2Tall” on Dec. 23, 2015, but failed to return with the money to Marble’s apartment.

In their appeal filings in the courthouse in Augusta, the Williamses, who represented themselves, noted that Royer’s funeral costs were approved by the Victims’ Compensation Board.

“She was a foot soldier in trafficking drugs for known drug dealers in the area as well as communicating with Marble the night of this horrible incident,” the Williamses said, referring the 26-year-old Royer. “So why did he murder both, did he also suspect Bonnie because of the phone calls that night or was there another reason?”

They say, “We as a family feel the need to speak on behalf of our son.”

In support of the board’s actions, Knowlton wrote, “In early 2017, the Board received additional information from law enforcement regarding the circumstances surrounding Eric’s murder.” The Board then voted unanimously to deny the application.


Debra Rice, director of the state Victims’ Compensation Program, said previously that only two other claimants appealed denials to the superior court over the past 20 years.

“We have received just shy of 5,000 cases over the life of the Victims’ Compensation Program,” she said in an email in late July. “That averages about 215 cases per year. For the last state Fiscal Year, 25 cases were denied, of which eight were denied for criminal conduct.”

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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