PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A judge ordered a Providence man held without bail Friday afternoon on charges he fatally stabbed an East Providence man last month.
James Stevens, 29, of Pine Street in Providence, was arraigned on a charge of first-degree murder. He was arrested in El Paso, Texas, on Dec. 28 after more than two weeks on the run. Friday’s arraignment was the first time he’d faced a judge in Rhode Island since authorities brought him back.
Stevens is accused of stabbing 24-year-old Jasper Williams on Dec. 10 and then fleeing the state. Williams died five days later. His mother, Alecia Williams, lives in North Carolina but has been in Rhode Island for more than a month, waiting to see her son’s alleged killer in person.
“It’s part of my healing process,” Williams said in an interview with Eyewitness News. “It’s a step further towards forgiveness.” She and her family openly wept when Stevens was brought into the courtroom.
According to an affidavit attached to Stevens’ arrest warrant, he and Jasper Williams argued over the phone before the alleged stabbing. The document says Stevens showed up at the home of Williams’ girlfriend, with whom he was living, and stabbed Williams multiple times in the torso, head and leg.
Alecia Williams says Stevens is in a relationship with Jasper Williams’ ex-girlfriend, but it’s unclear if that had anything to do with the argument.
Williams was found guilty in 2014 of stabbing two brothers in East Providence and had been released from the ACI less than two weeks before he was stabbed.
Alecia Williams said she forgives her son’s accused killer, and hopes he feels remorse and repentance.
“If I don’t practice [forgiveness], I have hatred. I have malice, I have revenge, I have rage,” Williams said. “If I have those types of characteristics in my heart, that means…I’m allowing James Stevens to control my life.”
Jasper Williams was a graduate of Mount Pleasant High School, worked at a sporting goods store, and had a 4-year-old son named Jasper Williams IV.
His mother says his last act was to donate his organs to four men and one woman who needed them.
“Even though he’s gone, he’s still living in five other people,” Williams said. “He’s still here.”