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CCSO Detention Deputy of the Year

Jesse Holbert’s intuition leads to identifying Philadelphia murder suspect

By Don Coble Managing Editor
Posted 2/16/23

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The more Sean Williams refused to reveal his real name, the more Clay County Sheriff’s Office Detention Deputy Jesse Holbert was determined to find out why.

It didn’t …

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CCSO Detention Deputy of the Year

Jesse Holbert’s intuition leads to identifying Philadelphia murder suspect


Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The more Sean Williams refused to reveal his real name, the more Clay County Sheriff’s Office Detention Deputy Jesse Holbert was determined to find out why.

It didn’t matter Williams was only in jail for a minor possession of marijuana charge. Holbert sensed something didn’t add up.

Williams didn’t understand that the longer he kept giving the agency a fake name, the longer he would be behind bars, so Holbert started digging deeper.

“When he got pulled over, he said his name was Keyshawn West,” Holbert said. “He gave us the right date of birth, but he said he didn’t know his social security number. Other guys showed up at the scene, and he used the name James. So now we had two names.”

Williams told another detention deputy he was Sean West.

And none were correct.

“John Doe” believed the sheriff’s office would flinch first, but deputies couldn’t file charges without a proper name. So Williams sat.

“He figured since it was a simple marijuana charge, he would get out soon,” Holbert said.

Holbert checked with Williams’ roommate and learned his real name was Sean. He also learned he was from Philadelphia, so Holbert called the Philadelphia Police Department. That’s when both agencies realized the man in the Clay County Jail was actually Sean Williams, who was wanted for murder.

Holbert’s intuition and determination led to Sean Devant Williams, now 30, being returned to Philadelphia to face charges of murder, robbery, criminal conspiracy and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

CCSO also selected him last Friday as the Detention Deputy of the Year.

Holbert worked with PPD’s Homicide Squad to identify the man who was on Philadelphia’s Most Wanted list. He took pictures of Williams’ tattoos and sent them to Philadelphia. Once Williams got to Florida, he cut his hair and attempted to change his appearance.

“But he had some unique tattoos, and that’s how we figured out who he was,” Holbert said. “We sent photos back and forth. At one point, when we were taking pictures of his tattoos, he said, ‘Is this for Philadelphia?’ That’s when he knew we knew.”

It all started with a traffic stop on Blanding Boulevard on Feb. 21, 2022, when Williams was pulled over for not using his headlights. The deputy discovered marijuana and put him under arrest. That’s when the cat-and-mouse games started.

“I wasn’t going to let it go,” Holbert said. “I knew something was up. I didn’t think it would be a homicide, though.”

Holbert said he monitors the Williams case on Philadelphia media websites.

“I’m waiting to see what happens to him,” he said. “I’ll be following his trial. This one was personal to me.”