Man accused of rape, murder sentenced to life in prison

Man accused of rape, murder sentenced to life in prison

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A man who beat and strangled a woman to death was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday.

Trace Williams was charged with the murder of Sonja Long after her body was found brutally raped, beaten and strangled in Inez Nash park in November.

"This was all stripped away from [Long] in the most violent vicious way," Kenneth Enoch, a friend of Long, said during the sentencing hearing. "And the monster who did this is in this court today. He is nothing but a coward."

Williams was also accused of holding two other women captive, brutally raping and beating them until they broke free to get help.

He accepted an Alford plea deal offered by the state and has a chance of parole after 30 years. As a result, the two rape charges against him were dropped.

"The crimes were horrific and the damage and harm he did to the family, but hopefully it will bring some measure of justice so the family can heal and move on," said prosecuting attorney Dexter Phillips.

Before sentencing Williams, Judge James Bates said the case was one of the most "offensive" cases he has heard and said Williams should never be released from prison.

Williams, who is now 37, will be eligible for parole in 2047 when is 67.

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