WILKES-BARRE — King’s College has started a scholarship in memory of a federal corrections officer killed on the job.
Newswatch 16 talked with Eric Williams’ parents nearly one year after his death.
There is still a lot of heartache inside Don and Jean Williams’ home in Nanticoke nearly one year after their son Eric was killed.
“It’s been a pleasure to be his mother for the 34 years that I had him. I miss him very much,” Jean Williams said.
Last February, Eric Williams, was working alone in a cell block at a federal prison near Waymart when he was ambushed and stabbed to death by an inmate, according to federal authorities.
As the one year anniversary approached, King’s College worked with the Williams family to create a scholarship in memory of Eric.
“The students knew who are looking to pursue careers in criminal justice certainly are aware of the dangers associated with it. Eric’s passing has obviously done a lot to raise the visibility of some challenges,” said Freddie Pettit of King’s College institutional advancement.
Eric, his sister, and his father all attended King’s College and his mother used to work there.
Don Williams says the federal prison system has supported the family and provided funds to help King’s pay for two scholarships for criminal justice majors at the college for the next five years.
“The bureau of prisons community throughout the whole United States has been overwhelming. A great deal of the money that we’re able to offer in terms of scholarships was generated by them.”
Don and Jean did not want to talk about the crime a year ago or how long it could take for their son’s alleged killer Jessie Con-ui to go to trial. Instead they wanted to thank neighbors and strangers for their thoughts and prayers.
“I can’t say things get better because they don’t. But to know that people care as much as they do and the support we have gotten from family and community and friends, it’s just been overwhelming.”
The first set of scholarships from the Eric Williams Memorial Fund will be awarded this fall.