BRYAN, Texas — Jury selection will begin Monday morning in the trial of a man accused of slaying six people, including a retired University of Maine at Farmington employee, a judge ruled Thursday.
William Mitchell Hudson, 35, is accused of killing Carl Johnson, 76, a retired University of Maine at Farmington employee, his daughter, Hannah Johnson, 40, a graduate of Mt. Blue High School in Farmington and University of Maine in Orono, her son, Kade Johnson, 6, her boyfriend, Thomas Kamp, 46, all of Texas, and his two sons, Nathan Kamp, 23, and Austin Kamp, 21, both of California, on Nov. 14, 2015, in Tennessee Colony.
All of the victims were shot to death, except Hannah Johnson, who was killed with blunt force. Hudson allegedly helped the Kamp/Johnson group with a vehicle stuck in the mud; he was invited to hang out with the group at the campsite.
Law enforcement officers and first-responders found the bodies of Carl Johnson and his daughter in a travel trailer at the campsite. The other victims were in a pond on Hudson’s property.
Carl Johnson’s wife, Cynthia, also a retired UMF employee, was able to escape and hide in the woods until she could call 911 to report the shootings.
At a February 2016 arraignment, Hudson pleaded not guilty to three counts of capital murder.
At Thursday’s final pre-trial hearing, Judge Mark Calhoon ruled that Hudson’s trial will go on without delay.
Local attorneys and others expected the trial to be delayed, after Hudson’s attorney, Stephen Evans, was hospitalized on Sept. 12, for an undisclosed illness.
Showing no emotion and looking straight ahead, Hudson was led into the courtroom, his hands and feet shackled and chained. He wore a striped, black and white jail uniform.
At least two members of the victims’ families were present. They sighed in relief when neither the prosecutor nor defense attorney asked for a delay.
The entire hearing lasted about three minutes, following a lengthy, closed-door conference between Judge Calhoon and attorneys.
Anderson County District Attorney Allyson Mitchell filed a State of Notice to Seek the Death Penalty on Jan. 23, and stated that the trial would move to Bryan in Brazos County for a change of venue.
William Mitchell Hudson