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North Texas Army reservist who was arrested as AWOL released after two weeks confinement

December 16, 2022

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GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — An Army reservist, arrested on Dec. 1, is back home with her family after spending two weeks in custody while the Army investigates the AWOL charge.

The AWOL charge against her led to an arrest at gunpoint in her Grand Prairie home.

Sergeant First Class Shantaya Williams said she was breastfeeding her 1-year-old daughter, Journi, on the night U.S. Marshals and Grand Prairie police broke down her front door and arrested her.

Members of the Williams family captured the break-in and arrest on video.

The 20-year Army and Army Reserves veteran had been given transfer orders from the Grand Prairie Army Reserve center to a facility in Virginia. But with two children in high school in Grand Prairie and with medical issues that include treatment for PTSD, she was appealing that transfer order.

Her attorney said she had been given until Sept. 28 to report to the new location in Virginia. However, the human resources specialist continued to report to the Grand Prairie office until Nov. 14.

“And to put a gun to her forehead while she’s nursing a baby. This is the most shocking and egregious abuse of power I have seen in 14 years of litigating military cases,” attorney and military veteran Sean Timmons told WFAA on Monday.

“I think it was absolute absurd, and very reckless and very heartless,” the soldier’s mom, Deniece Hutcherson, said two days before Williams’ eventual release. “It was horrible. We’ve never experienced anything like this and pray to God we never have to again.”

For a week, Williams was held in the Kaufman County Jail and was later confined to base at Fort Sill, Okla.

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