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Man who murdered St. Louis singer dies in prison

Man who murdered St. Louis singer dies in prison

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A man serving life in prison for murdering his wife and a St. Louis singer died in prison Sunday.

James H. Williams Sr., 72, was serving life in prison for the killing of his wife, Sharon Williams, and Walter Notheis Jr., known as Walter Scott, who sang with Bob Kuban and the In-Men on the 1966 hit "The Cheater."

Notheis' mother, Kay Notheis, 88, of Affton, said she knew Williams had been in bad health for some time. "I was wishing he would live longer so he would have to suffer a little longer," she said. "But, you don't always get what you want."

Kay Notheis said Kuban called her this morning to say he had heard about Williams' death. She said she suspected Williams' involvement from the first day her son was reported missing.

"He's got to answer to God for what he did," Kay Notheis said. "He killed his wife, and he murdered our son."

Sharon Williams died Oct. 20, 1983, and Notheis disappeared on Dec. 27, 1983. His body was found in 1987 in a cistern on property James Williams owned in St. Charles County.

Joann M. Williams, who had been married to Notheis and later married James Williams, had been charged with Notheis' murder, too. She pleaded guilty of felony hindering prosecution. A Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman said she entered prison in April 1993 and was paroled in February 1994. She was discharged from parole in April 1998.

Troy Steele, warden of the Potosi Correctional Center, said Williams had a heart condition and was in hospice care in the prison infirmary. He said Williams was pronounced dead at 7:50 a.m. Sunday of apparent natural causes.

Notheis' son Wally Notheis III, 48, who lives in the Fenton area, said he didn't have much response. "It was going to happen sooner or later," he said.

Wally Notheis III said his father was killed just as they were getting to know each other better. His father had been on the road for much of the earlier years, he said. "It was getting to that point to where it was going to be pretty cool to hang out with him, and then that happened," he said.

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