Woman pleads innocent to accessory in murder of Chicago filmmaker

AP, Mar. 25, 2003

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – A woman has pleaded innocent to charges of being an accessory after the fact to the murder of Chicago filmmaker Allen Ross.

Julia Williams, 49, is accused of helping bury Ross’ body in the dirt basement of a house in downtown Cheyenne. Williams also allegedly hid the gun used to kill Ross in 1995.

Ross’ body was found in July 2000. An investigation concluded he had been shot in the head.

Williams entered her not guilty plea Monday in state District Court of Laramie County. At the hearing, public defender Diane Lozano asked Judge James Burke to reduce bond from $3,000 to $1,000 to ease the financial strain on Williams, who had charged the full amount to her credit card.

District Attorney Jon Forwood opposed the motion and Burke agreed, leaving bond at $3,000.

If convicted, Williams could face up to three years in prison and a fine up to $3,000. Trial is set for July 22.

Before his body was found in 2000, Ross had been missing since November 1995, seven months after he moved to Cheyenne with Williams and his common-law wife, Linda Greene, from Guthrie, Okla. The three and others belonged to a religious sect called the Samaritan Foundation.

Williams left Cheyenne not long after Ross’ murder, then moved back to town after Greene’s death from natural causes a year ago in Berryville, Ark. Williams started approaching police with information about the case and allegedly told officers she buried the body and hid the gun.

Ross, 42, grew up in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Ill. He was well-known in Chicago filmmaking circles before he abruptly moved to Oklahoma in the early 1990s, according to friends.

Williams, Linda Greene and Greene’s husband, Denis Greene, now of Kansas City, Mo., were in the house when Ross was killed, police said. However, investigators say they don’t have enough evidence to prove who pulled the trigger.

The Greenes had implicated each other in interviews, police have said.

Detectives theorize that Ross was killed because he was trying to gain rights to some of the materials the cult was printing.

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