Mother of 5 Had Protection Order in Place Against Ex Accused of Killing Her in DC

Audora Williams and Wonnel Jones Jr. were supposed to appear at D.C. Superior Court Tuesday to modify a civil protection order after Jones Jr. was allegedly late returning their daughters, ages 1 and 2, to William’s apartment

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Audora Williams, 33, spent months in the District pursuing, and being granted, a series of temporary protective orders against an allegedly abusive ex, with whom she shared two little girls. 

They were supposed to be in court again Tuesday afternoon. Instead, Williams was killed on July 19, and the ex accused of killing her in front of her children one week ago is on the run.

Wonnel Anthony Jones Jr., 34, is accused of fatally shooting Williams at her Knox Place SE apartment. She was a mother to five children. 

Williams and Jones Jr. were supposed to appear before a judge at D.C. Superior Court Tuesday afternoon to modify a civil protection order, according to court documents, after Jones Jr. was late returning their daughters, ages 1 and 2, to William’s apartment after visitation. 

Police are searching for 34-year-old Wonell A. Jones, Jr., of Southeast, D.C.

“At the end of the day, a civil protection order is only a piece of paper. We know that in 20% of the cases it’s helpful, but it doesn’t stop other types of abuse,” Natalia Otero, the executive director of DC Safe, and an advocate for domestic violence victims, said. 

Court papers that document Williams’ attempts to keep herself safe in the three months before her murder are over an inch thick.

She first sought a protection order against Jones Jr. on April 26, after she said he arrived upset at her apartment, dragged her out of her bedroom, threw her against a wall, choked and stomped her until the children’s crying made him stop.

She was granted a temporary protection order against him two days later. One was in effect at the time of the murder.

Otero said the tragedy shows the need to expand the definition of what help for victims of violence looks like, “to better support, create access for and create resources for people that are suffering from intimate partner violence.”

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