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A Georgia man was sentenced to spend life in prison without parole two times over for the shocking Easter Sunday 2017 strangulation murders of a 30-year-old woman and her young son at a home where she was renting a room.
Gwinnett County District Attorney Patsy Austin-Gatson on Tuesday announced the sentence of Brandon Craig Williams, now 38, for the 2017 murders of 30-year old Natalie Nation and 2-year-old Cole Nation.
In 2017, the Gwinnett County Police Department said that the man who owned the home on Tybee Drive in Buford, where Natalie and Cole Nation were murdered, was the one who called 911 at around 11 p.m that Easter Sunday. That homeowner, Brandon Williams’ father, told cops his son was walking towards a gas station. Cops went on to arrest Williams at that location.
“According to the homeowner, the woman was renting a room at the home and the child was her son. There are no family ties between the suspect and the victims,” police said. In the hours that followed, the victims, “two beautiful souls,” were identified by name.
Prosecutors credited Williams’ father for “immediately” calling 911. At the gas station, Williams was caught on surveillance video “approaching strangers and trying to get a ride out of town,” the Gwinnett County DA’s office said.
Local ABC affiliate WSB-TV reported that days before the murders Williams, who apparently heard voices in his head, was involuntarily committed to a mental health facility after he was spotted by neighbors licking car windows. He was released from the facility, however, and on the day of the murders Williams put on a Halloween mask, talked to himself, and was recorded saying, “I already got them. I already sacrificed them,” the report said.
After the arrest, more disturbing details emerged about the defendant yelling at Natalie Nation, making death threats, and a previous incident where Williams strangled Natalie.
“Police were also able to speak with multiple neighbors who had heard the defendant yelling at the victim in the days and weeks prior to the murder asking her why she was still there and saying he wanted her out of his house. On the day of the murder, a neighbor heard the defendant scream he was going to kill everyone and go to California,” the DA’s office said. “It was also revealed during the trial that the defendant had strangled Natalie on a prior occasion and resuscitated her.”
The trial established, prosecutors said, that Williams’ father and a friend were outside of the residence at the time of the murders and that Williams was the only one “seen going in or out of the residence.” Williams was talking to himself and said he had to burn the house down after the murders.
“The testimony indicated that the defendant exited the home, mumbled he needed to burn the house down, and then walked to a nearby gas station. After hearing this, the defendant’s father went into the home and found the two victims deceased in a bedroom,” the DA’s office continued, noting Williams’ DNA was found on a towel he used to kill Natalie Nation.
Following Williams’ Dec. 1 conviction on malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and cruelty to children charges, Gwinnett Superior Court Judge Angela Duncan sentenced him to serve two sentences of life in state prison without parole, sentences set to run consecutively.