Man charged in fatal shooting makes first court appearance

Monday, September 24, 2012 ~ Updated 12:21 PM

Steven Lee Williams, a Cape Girardeau man charged in Thursday night's deadly shooting, made his first court appearance Monday morning, in which he applied for a public defender and had a preliminary hearing set for Oct. 18.

Williams is alleged to have shot multiple rounds into Darcus T. Purl, described by a witness as a romantic rival, at the corner of Locust Street and Ranney Avenue Thursday night. Williams is being held at the Cape Girardeau County Jail in lieu of a $2 million bond.

Williams, 34, appeared before Judge Gary Kamp on Monday for an initial arrangement on second-degree murder and armed criminal action, according to the circuit clerk's office. Williams was declared indigent by the defender's office and Kamp set a preliminary hearing for 1 p.m. Oct. 18.

Cape Girardeau County Coroner John Clifton said Monday that preliminary autopsy reports were not yet available. Clifton said that the cause of death was clearly multiple gun shot wounds and blood loss. Preliminary results from an autopsy may not happen before the official results, Clifton said, because the cause of death was obvious. Official results will likely take several weeks, he said.

The witness to the shooting, Georgia Cowson, told the Southeast Missourian on Friday that Williams shot Purl several times before fleeing. Cowson described Purl as her boyfriend and the father of her two children. A probable-cause statement says that Cowson, though not identified by name, was formerly involved with Williams.

Questions remain, such as how Williams, the only man seen with a gun, suffered a gunshot wound in the incident as well.

Pertinent address:

South Ranney Avenue and Locust Street, Cape Girardeau, MO

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