MOUNT VERNON – A 43-year-old Columbus man was indicted Monday with the 2022 aggravated murder of a Mount Vernon man whose body was found in Ariel-Foundation Park.
Terry Barker is charged with the killing of Paul Williams, 43, on May 2, 2022. According to the indictment, Barker shot Williams with a .22 caliber semiautomatic pistol.
Barker is being held at the Delaware County Jail.
Williams’ manner of death was ruled as a homicide by a gunshot wound to the head, according to his death certificate.
After William’s body was found, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) was brought in and assisted throughout the investigation, according a Mount Vernon Police Department press release.
The release also states, the decision to restrict the publicizing of information regarding this case was made by the police department, county prosecutor’s office, BCI and the other agencies involved with the investigation .
“This was done in an attempt to assist the investigators in obtaining information and evidence needed to successfully conclude this case. This decision was not taken lightly,” Mount Vernon Police Chief Robert Morgan said in the release.
In the 14 months following the incident, detectives from the Mount Vernon Police Department, BCI investigators, detectives from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, and the Knox County Prosecutors Office have put hundreds of man hours into this investigation, Morgan also said in the release.
The case was presented by County Prosecutor Chip McConville and lead investigator detective Matthew Haver from the Mount Vernon Police Department, the release also states, noting many other people and agencies have also contributed to this successful indictment.
“We should all thank the officers, prosecutors, investigators and others that never stopped working on this case from day one,” Morgan said in the release. “I would also like to offer all of our condolences to the family of Paul Williams and thank them for their patience and understanding during this long, and complicated investigation.”
According to the indictment, Barker was convicted on May 27, 2016 for third-degree felony possession of cocaine and heroin in Knox County.
His possession of a firearm while under disability marked the second count of Monday’s indictment.
Over the past year, Williams’ family has asked for the public’s help — seeking information in connection with this case on its social media platforms.
“Paul was a loveable kid. He never did nothing to nobody,” said Pauline Holley, Williams’ eldest sister. “If you was down, Paul would make you happy.”
This is a developing story.