INDIANAPOLIS — Secoya Williams had just turned 25 in February of last year when she visited a northwest side nightclub to support a childhood friend who was performing as a rapper.
IMPD homicide detectives determined that Ebonie Parks was the rapper’s girlfriend and did not take kindly to the attention her boyfriend was paying to Williams that night, so she called up her sister Arieal Smith and told her to bring a gun to the nightclub.
There was a scuffle inside the club when Smith tossed a drink in Williams’ face. When everyone was sent outside to clear the bar, investigators determined Smith shot Williams to death.
This week, Smith will face 45-60 years in prison for her conviction of murder while Parks faces a potential sentence of 1-3 years for assisting.
Marilyn Johnson sat through every minute of the three-day trial of her daughter’s killer last month.
”All the evidence was shown,” Johnson said. “I had to sit there and look at pictures of my daughter in a way that I would never want to see her, and I had to sit there and just look at them.
”At the end, nobody won in that situation. Their family didn’t win. My family didn’t win. We lost Secoya, but they also got daughters that’s gotta go to jail and face the consequences for that. I was just like, ‘Wow, this was sad.’ It was senseless, and I just looked at them like, ‘You don’t know what you’ve done.’
Johnson said she is getting justice, though she doesn’t believe anybody will be happy after Williams and Smith are sentenced.
”I want them to know that I don’t hate them or anything like that,” Johnson said. ”I’m getting justice because I’m going to a sentencing. I’m getting justice, per se, but there are many others, thousands of cold cases that are still closed, there’s thousands of parents waiting for justice. May never get it.”
Through October 30th, IMPD listed a clearance rate of approximately 30% of this year’s 190 homicide cases and an overall clearance rate of 44% when factoring in cases solved in 2023 from previous years.
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office has won approximately 40 murder, manslaughter and neglect causing death cases so far this year, compared to 33 for all of 2022.
Johnson credits both prosecutors and police for standing by her side during the investigation and trial.
”And I worked with them, and if I had a question, I emailed and they were prefect, they were awesome, and they stuck by us as well as we stuck by them,” she said. ”Some people do give up. I was told a lot of people don’t even show back up. They’d be like, ‘Forget it, we’re not even gonna get justice.’ I tell any parent, never give up, no matter, your day will come as far as getting justice for your loved one.”
Johnson said her daughter worked in the medical field, and she’s started a charity which has already handed out grants to 10 people, including single parents and Warren Central High School students who may be following Secoya’s field of study.
She’s launched a GoFundMe account to raise money for grants to be awarded during a birthday celebration for her daughter next February, so that other mothers in Indianapolis won’t have to suffer the same pain she has.
”The youth, if you all can just put the guns down, the youth or anybody that is using guns wrong, because they’re not gonna stop making the guns, but its just a matter or who’s picking them up and why they’re picking them up. It would save a lot of grief if people would learn gun safety.
”Come on, Indianapolis. Lets just do better.”