Man accused of murdering well-respected graduate student hangs self at NW Harris County home, deputies say
HOUSTON — The murder suspect accused of shooting his romantic partner during a dispute in Atascocita was found dead Friday morning inside a northwest Houston home, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said.
Mario Jarrell Williams, 29, was out on a $100,000 bond after being charged with the death of Devon Wade, 28, on Nov. 26.
The victim was a doctoral candidate at the Columbia University, a dedicated activist and a pillar in the Atascocita community.
Wade was reportedly shot in the head overnight at his home on Crestline Road. Williams, who prosecutors identified as the victim’s boyfriend, turned himself into authorities soon after.
Investigators said Williams hung himself in the bedroom of a home in the 17100 block of Wilthonre Gardens Court and was discovered by deputies around 10:15 a.m. on Dec. 29.
On the night of the murder, prosecutors said Williams was asked to leave Wade’s home multiple times before being escorted out. The suspect allegedly left, but then returned a second time.
Williams claims he was trying to leave again, but the victim wouldn’t let him. Wade allegedly punched the suspect in the face and then chased him downstairs. Wade allegedly blocked the front door, but the suspect was able to get through when Williams claims the victim lunged at him.
That’s when Williams shot Wade, prosecutors said.
Williams told police he came to the house to retrieve a handgun that was in Wade’s bedroom, according to prosecutors.
According to the Columbia University website, Wade was an LSU graduate and Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow. His collection of research focused on urban sociology, crime and deviance, social mobility and racial and ethnic inequality.
Wade had traveled across the country, delivering motivational speeches and keynote addresses at prisons, as well as talking about the effects of parental incarceration at various conferences. He worked with the non-profit organization No More Victims in Houston and other groups in New York that helped children living in low-income area.
He was a recipient of multiple prestigious awards including the Truman Scholarship, the Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship and the National Science Foundation Fellowship.