ARIZONA NEWS

Mother of Phoenix officer’s alleged shooter sentenced in gun case

Oct 6, 2023, 1:11 PM | Updated: 3:05 pm

PHOENIX — A woman was sentenced to 10 months in prison Monday for illegally buying a gun for her son, who is the man accused of shooting Phoenix Police Officer Tyler Moldovan, authorities said.

The gun in the case against Tempe’s Erika LaRae Williams was not the one used to seriously wound Moldovan two years ago, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona said in a press release Friday.

Williams, 52, pleaded guilty in May to making a material false statement during the purchase of a firearm. Her sentence in the federal case includes three years of supervised release.

Why was mother Phoenix officer’s alleged shooter arrested?

Erika Williams lied while filling out forms for the purchase of a Taurus G3 pistol on Sept. 30, 2020, five month after her son, Essa Williams, was released from prison, prosecutors said.

She asserted she was buying the gun for herself when, in fact, it was for her son, who was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of felony convictions.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives seized the weapon from her residence on March 10, 2022, about three months after her son was arrested for allegedly shooting Moldovan.

A lengthy text message exchange between the mother and son about the purchase was found on on Erika Williams’ cellphone, prosecutors said.

Essa Williams was arrested after Moldovan was shot multiple times on Dec. 14, 2021, as police searched for a man seen running from a car that reportedly had been driven erratically a short time earlier.

Essa Williams is awaiting trial in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Moldovan was put on life support and wasn’t expected to survive. But despite suffering life-altering injuries, he was released from the hospital nearly six months after the shooting.

In an emotional moment in April of this year, he got out of his wheelchair with the help of his wife, Chelsea, and threw out the first pitch at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ home opener.

Mother wasn’t only person to help Essa Williams get gun

Erika LaRae Williams isn’t the only person serving time for helping Essa Williams get his hands on a gun after he got out of prison.

In August, Dwayne Keith Anderson, 51, was sentenced to six months in prison in a separate case.

Anderson, a federal firearms licensee, pleaded guilty in May to making of a false statement during the purchase of a firearm.

Prosecutors say he met Essa Williams at a gun show and helped him avoid a background check to purchase a Masterpiece Arms Defender 9mm pistol.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A one-year-old boy is in critical condition after nearly drowning in Scottsdale. (Pexels photo)...

KTAR.com

1-year-old in serious condition after nearly drowning in Scottsdale pool

A one-year-old boy is in serious condition after he was pulled from a pool in Scottsdale on Friday, the Scottsdale Fire Department said.

18 minutes ago

Colorado River settlement center of new Navajo Nation push...

Associated Press

Tribes say their future is at stake as they push for Congress to consider Colorado River settlement

Navajo officials are celebrating the signing of legislation outlining a proposed Colorado River settlement that would ensure water rights.

2 hours ago

Man indicted for organized retail theft, allegedly stole 31 times...

Serena O'Sullivan

Phoenix man accused of stealing from same retail store 31 times

A Phoenix man allegedly stole goods worth $7,000 from a single store over two years. He's been indicted for organized retail theft.

4 hours ago

The OFFSTREET Fesitval Arts & Crafts Show will return to Prescott, Ariz. for Memorial Day weekend. ...

Damon Allred

OFFSTREET Festival Arts & Crafts Show returns to Prescott for Memorial Day weekend

The OFFSTREET Festival Arts & Crafts Show is returning to Pine Ridge Marketplace in Prescott for a cultural showcase over the weekend.

5 hours ago

Two coyotes were euthanized following their capture in Scottsdale on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, after...

KTAR.com

2 coyotes euthanized after man walking his dog attacked in Scottsdale

Two coyotes were euthanized following their capture in Scottsdale on Wednesday after a man walking his dog was attacked.

6 hours ago

Wildcat Fire is 64% contained as of Friday...

Serena O'Sullivan

Firefighters gain more containment on Wildcat Fire burning north of Phoenix

The Wildcat Fire is 64% contained as of 12:30 p.m. on May 24, 2024, according to the Arizona Central West Zone. The fire started on Saturday.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Mother of Phoenix officer’s alleged shooter sentenced in gun case