Murder Conviction in Deadly Bar Fight; Defendant Faces Up to 30 Years

Courtesy Google Maps

According to the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, “Today in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, MD, before the Honorable Bibi Berry, defendant, Nickolis Williams, 33, of Wheaton, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for the death of 29-year-old Darcel Cole. Williams faces up to 30 years in prison per conditions of a plea agreement. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 30, 2024.”

Per the news release: This stems from an incident on December 18, 2021, outside of a restaurant in Silver Spring. The defendant and victim became involved in a fight and nearly ten months later, the victim died in the hospital from injuries sustained during the physical altercation.

Assistant State’s Attorneys Donna Fenton and Jodi Mount are prosecuting this case. The following is a statement of facts as submitted by the State to the court:

On December 18, 2021, in the early morning, Darcel Cole and friends were at the Odalis Restaurant located at 8215 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, Montgomery County, MD 20910. At some point Nickolis Williams arrived at the Odalis Restaurant. Cole and Williams got into an argument, and both agreed to go outside to fight.

The two men were captured on surveillance video walking to a nearby parking lot where they began fist fighting with one another. After a brief time fighting, Williams, who is much larger than Cole and has boxing training, struck Cole with a punch that knocked Cole to the ground.

On video, Cole was seen lying motionless on the ground as Williams stood over him, continuing to strike him in the head with closed fists. Williams then walked a distance away from Cole, leaving Cole motionless on the ground for several seconds. Williams then returned and proceeded to stomp on Cole’s head 3 times as Cole remained motionless.

Williams remained on scene for a bit, appearing to manipulate or check on Cole’s body. Then, he fled on foot in the direction of Georgia Ave. He was arrested after the fact and initially denied any involvement but later admitted to the attack. A search warrant was done on Williams’s car and officers recovered clothing matching what he was wearing, stored in a bag along with sneakers with blood on them.  DNA testing of the blood on defendant’s shoes matched Darcel Cole’s DNA profile.

When emergency personnel responded to the scene, they found Cole unresponsive and with significant head trauma. He was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment but remained in a vegetative state for approx. 9 and ½ months. Darcel Cole died from his injuries on October 5, 2022. An autopsy revealed that the cause of the victim’s death was complications resulting from head trauma and the manner of death was homicide. 

Nickolis Williams

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