Local News

Victim's Family Claims Williamson Not Remorseful For Actions In 1995 Shooting

Posted June 11, 2004

— Seven years ago, two people died and a police officer was seriously hurt in a shooting rampage in Chapel Hill. Now, the man charged in the shootings has a little more freedom. For one of the victim's families, the pain is still as fresh as ever.

On a January afternoon in 1995, downtown Chapel Hill turned upside down. Law student Wendell Williamson went on a shooting spree, killing two people. One of them was UNC lacrosse player Kevin Reichardt.

"We miss him tremendously. It's left a big hole in our lives," mother Carol Reichardt said.

Every December, Reichardt's parents drive from their home in Maryland to North Carolina to attend Williamson's annual review.

"There's an issue of the victims. Our son was a victim. We're victims," father Karl Reichardt said.

Williamson was found not guilty in his criminal trial by reason of insanity. He is currently at Dorothea Dix Hospital. A doctor testified Monday that Williamson is a model patient, claiming "he's intellectual, educated and free from symptoms."

However, the doctor also admitted in court that Williamson could still be considered a danger to the community, and that he has a long way to go before he should be released from Dorothea Dix.

The judge decided to recommit him for another year, but he also gave Williamson a little more freedom, up to an hour of unsupervised time every day.

"I find it amazing that it's all about Williamson. It's all about him. How can we make him better? How can we get a treatment plan to progress? Let's remembered he murdered two people," Carol said.

The Reichardts said Williamson has never shown any remorse for the death of their youngest son. They admit they are still angry.

"If I was to come face-to-face with Wendell Williamson, I'd make him accountable," Karl said.

"I don't think he should ever be released," Carol said.

The Reichardts plan to be in court every time Williamson's case is heard. They say it is the least they can do for their son.

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