Bay Shore man pleads not guilty in Bohemia slaying
The man accused of robbing and fatally shooting a woman who was working as a prostitute in a Bohemia motel -- and firing shots at Suffolk police -- robbed another prostitute days before, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Stoker Olukotun Williams, 24, of Bay Shore, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to first- and second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree criminal use of a firearm and two counts of first-degree robbery, in the Sept. 7 slaying of Shalece Cunningham, 24, also of Bay Shore, at the MacArthur Inn.
He also was charged with first-degree robbery in a Sept. 3 theft from another prostitute -- who was Cunningham's friend -- at a Bay Shore motel. "This is not the first time the defendant has done this," Suffolk District Attorney Thomas J. Spota said in a news conference after the hearing, during which he urged other victims to come forward. "He preys on prostitutes and robs them."
Olukotun Williams had no prior police record, his attorney has said.
Spota said if Olukotun Williams' gun had not jammed as he fled, he could have killed an officer. "There will be no plea bargain in this case," Spota said.
Olukotun Williams, whose mother and sister attended the Riverhead hearing, but declined to comment, was ordered held without bail. The hearing drew several dozen Suffolk police officers in support of the two officers, who were not shot but suffered shoulder and wrist injuries.
Olukotun Williams' attorney, Joseph A. Hanshe of Sayville, said he's investigating the actions of the other two occupants of the motel room, whom Spota identified as the victim's female friend, also a prostitute, and her boyfriend.
"It's conjecture what happened at that hotel," Hanshe said. "He might have been enticed there by somebody. I don't know what happened inside the room, nor do the police."
Prosecutors said Cunningham used a website to arrange a meeting with Olukotun Williams at 4:15 a.m. The other woman and her boyfriend, whom prosecutors would not identify, sat in a car, and saw him enter the room, prosecutors said.
After 10 minutes, he ran out, leaving the door open, prosecutors said. The couple found Cunningham face down on the floor -- shot once in the head, they said -- and told police he had taken about $1,000 from her.
Olukotun Williams returned to get Mace and a baseball cap he had left, prosecutors said, and demanded money from them at gunpoint.
Before his 9-mm pistol jammed, prosecutors said he fired two shots at officers who had responded to a shots fired call. They ducked for cover and returned fire, hitting him once in the arm. He was arrested in a wooded area nearby.
Spota said in Olukotun Williams' car investigators found black gloves, a wig, duct tape and other items, which Spota declined to identify, but which he said point to him robbing other prostitutes.
Noel DiGerolamo, president of the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association, said, "This predator deserves nothing more than to spend his life behind bars."