After longtime Moss Point educator was stabbed 50 times, his killer is headed to prison

A Coast man who stabbed a longtime Moss Point educator more than 50 times during a robbery is headed to prison for life without parole.

Lee Andrew Gipson, 26, of Moss Point, pleaded guilty to capital murder this week for the robbery and brutal stabbing death of Willie Clarence Williams, 64.

In his plea petition, Gipson said he went to Williams’ home on Charles Street and got into an argument with him over a “rumored relationship,” records said.

Gipson said a fight followed, during which he brutally stabbed Williams to death. Afterward, he said he stole some of Williams’ belongings and left.

According to the indictment, the crime occurred between Aug. 17 and Aug. 19, 2016.

After entering the guilty plea Tuesday, Judge Robert Krebs sentenced Gipson for the crime.

The tragic death left a community in mourning.

Many of his neighbors had been students under Williams and called him a “mentor in the neighborhood.”

In the classroom, another neighbor said, Williams was the type of instructor who commanded respect from his students because he wanted them to be the best they could be.

Though he was stern in the classroom, neighbors also said he was outgoing and charismatic and could be funny as well.

“I don’t know too many people in Moss Point who haven’t been impacted by Dr. Williams,” Natalie Chambers Nettles said after his body was discovered. She grew up in the same neighborhood as Williams and attended Southern Miss with him.

Nettles also said Williams was fun and could swing dance, and even taught classes at the Moss Point Recreation Center.

“But when it came down to his students, he was business,” Nettles had said. “He would go to a parent’s home if a kid was not meeting the mark. And who wanted Dr. Williams to come to their home? Because if he came, it was serious.

Williams was a 1970 graduate of Magnolia High School in Moss Point. He later earned his bachelor’s and doctoral degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

Over the course of his 32-year career in education, Williams served as a teacher, principal, assistant principal, assistant school superintendent and interim superintendent in the Moss Point School District.

Williams had also taught school in the Pacagoula School District prior to his retirement.

Moss Point police investigated the case. The Jackson County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted it.

Margaret Baker is an investigative reporter whose search for truth exposed corrupt sheriffs, a police chief and various jailers and led to the first prosecution of a federal hate crime for the murder of a transgendered person. She worked on the Sun Herald’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Hurricane Katrina team. When she pursues a big story, she is relentless.