Lowndes County Courthouse renamed in honor of slain sheriff

HAYNEVILLE — The Lowndes County Courthouse has been renamed in honor of slain sheriff John "Big John" Williams.

The popular lawman was shot and killed in the line of duty the night of Nov. 23 when he was breaking up a large crowd in the parking lot of the QV convenience store in Hayneville. He died just across the street from the courthouse which now bears his name, and about two blocks away from his home.

Williams, 62, was a Lowndes County native who started his career with the Hayneville Police Department before going to the sheriff's office as a deputy. He worked his way up through the ranks to become chief deputy before being elected sheriff He got his nickname from his towering stature, standing more than 6-feet-5-inches.