Man sentenced to prison for trying to kill two Smithfield Foods employees

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A man was sentenced to at least 15 and a half years in prison for trying to kill two Smithfield Foods employees, according to the district attorney’s office.

On Monday, Jaquante Hakeem Williams was sentenced for the attempted murder charges.

On November 21, 2019, the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office responded to shots fired call at the Smithfield Foods processing facility in Tar Heel. Williams was a contract employee who entered the administrative building around 12:15 a.m. He then shot employee Anthony Ratley three times. A second victim, Marleni Simiona Gonzalez Velazquez, was also shot. Williams took off and discarded his handgun. However, deputies later found Williams and arrested him.

The victims both had to airlifted to hospital for treatment.

“The shooting at the Smithfield plant was a senseless act of workplace violence deserving of maximum justice,” District Attorney Jon David wrote in a news release. “I commend investigators with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office for conducting a comprehensive investigation and for providing the evidence to secure this conviction.”

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