Death penalty charges for accused Old Town killer

Michael Williams accused of killing Jacob Shroyer

Michael Lee Williams in court on May 12, 2017. He is charged with the attempted murder, first-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The man accused of killing a well-known DJ and barber in what officials believe was a random stabbing could face the death penalty if convicted by a jury.

On Friday, a Multnomah County grand jury issued a 17-count indictment against Michael Lee Williams for three separate crimes, including the death of Jacob Shroyer.

Williams appeared in court on Monday and was arraigned on the indictment. A court appointed criminal defense, with death penalty case experience, will be appointed.

Police allege that Williams stabbed Shroyer on May 8 inside the Pacific Tower Apartments. He died May 16.

Michael Lee Williams, May 12, 2017 (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)
Michael Lee Williams, May 12, 2017 (Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)

Prior to attacking Shroyer, police say Williams approached an unknown person near a parking lot at NW 4th and Glisan. The grand jury charged Williams with a single count of menacing for that incident, which was caught on camera.

Almost immediately after approaching the unknown person Williams set his sights on Shroyer, according to court documents.

The entry to Shroyer’s apartment building has 2 sets of doors. The first leads people into a small open space where they can use a keypad system to access the secured lobby.

Video shows Shroyer entering the first set of doors. He can be seen trying to close the door that leads to the street but Williams was able to reach in and open it.

Jacob Shroyer passed away after being stabbed in a random attack on May 8, 2017. (YouCaring)

The small foyer is where the attack happened.

Williams was arrested May 9 after 911 dispatchers took reports of an assault and robbery onboard a TriMet bus near SW 5th and Pine. The grand jury decided to charge Williams with one count of assault for punching the TriMet rider, criminal mischief for damaging the bus, and robbery for stealing the man’s wallet.

The indictment also reveals that on May 1, Williams had a physical confrontation with a man at a retail store in Old Town. Police have not released specific details to that incident. However, court documents show that as a result of the incident, damage was done to the store.

Police said they were made aware of the May 1 incident after Williams’ photo was featured in local media broadcasts following his arrest.

According to Shroyer’s obituary, he grew up in Albuquerque and had been living in Portland since 2007.

“Jacob was an accomplished hair stylist at Bishop’s barbershop and a talented DJ at CC Slaughters Club in downtown Portland,” according to the obituary. “Jacob was a strong independent self-made man who loved to make people happy and feel good about themselves.”

A celebration of life for Shroyer was held on Saturday.

Williams remains in custody.

Under Oregon law, a person convicted of aggravated murder could face the death penalty.