8 Oct 2010

Air force commander to admit murder charge

6:24 pm on 8 October 2010

The commander of Canada's largest air force base is to plead guilty to charges of murder and sexual assault.

Colonel Russell Williams, 47, who once acted as pilot for the Queen, is also charged with forcible confinement and breaking and entering.

His lawyer has told an Ontario court he would plead guilty to all charges.

The BBC reports he also faces 82 charges of breaking and entering. Prosecutors said he had stolen women's underwear.

One woman was found dead in her house in November 2009. The other went missing in January this year.

Colonel Williams was arrested on 7 February. He is expected to enter guilty pleas at his next court appearance later this month.

The murder victims were Corporal Marie Comeau, 38, who lived in Brighton, Ontario, and Jessica Lloyd, 27, a resident of Belleville, Ontario.

Burglary charges

Colonel Williams is accused of burgling 47 homes, starting in 2007. Most of the targeted houses were in the same street, with one home burgled nine times.

The Ottawa Citizen newspaper reported that police had seized 500 items of women's underwear from his home in Ottawa.

A biography on the Canadian Air Force website said Colonel Williams had enrolled in the Canadian Air Force in 1987 and gained his wings in 1990.

The BBC reports he oversaw logistical support for missions to Haiti and Afghanistan.