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WORK RELEASE: THE SHORT ARM OF THE LAW | A CASE IN
POINT / THOMAS McWILLIAMS

Trying to Hide His Past

December 29, 1996

McWilliams was convicted earlier this year of selling a $20 rock of cocaine to an undercover cop near Sunset Boulevard. The 43-year-old had been arrested at least eight times in Chicago before moving here several years ago, but when questioned by authorities about his history, "apparently he was trying to hide this part of his past," a probation officer said. The probation report also said McWilliams had smoked cocaine for five years, and that he said the killing of his wife and brother "made me want to kill people myself."

The probation officer recommended that McWilliams be given a chance in county custody instead of state prison, but remarked: "It is doubtful that he will adhere to the process." Indeed, McWilliams was put on work release on a 180-day sentence and soon skipped out.

He is still being sought.

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