Man sentenced in murder of Muskegon County mom of 2

Ronald Williams sentence in Bobbie Maples murder
Left: Ronald Williams stands in court to hear his sentence for the murder of Bobbie Maples (right).

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — A man charged with murdering a Muskegon County mother will spend at least 18 years in prison.

A judge Monday sentenced Ronald Williams, who previously pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in the death of Bobbie Maples.

Bobbie Maples' mother
The mother of Bobbie Maples speaks before Ronald Williams’ sentencing. (Oct. 3, 2016)

In January 2016, a tip from Williams’ sister as part of a plea deal in her own criminal case led investigators to Maples’ body, which had been buried in a horse corral off Nestrom Road in Fruitland Township.

“No mother should have to bury her child. No mother should have to carry the heartache of never seeing that baby again,” said Maples’ mother before Williams was sentenced to 18.5 years to 55 years in prison for the murder.

Maples disappeared in December 2014, less than two weeks after giving birth to her second child.  She was 32 years old.

“Bobbie was not there when her baby girl came home from the hospital of for her first Christmas or when she started to walk,” Maples added. “Bobbie will not be there when her children graduate.”

Williams told police he met with Maples to take a DNA test to determine if he was the father of her newborn baby. He told police he gave Maples heroin and she overdosed. He said when he found her dead, he put her outside and later buried her body, according to an officer’s testimony.

Ronald Williams appears in a Muskegon courtroom for his arraignment. (April 5, 2016)
Ronald Williams appears in a Muskegon courtroom for his arraignment. (April 5, 2016)

While the medical examiner said traces of sleeping medications and morphine that could have been from broken-down heroin were in Maples’ body, the medical examiner concluded she died from homicidal asphyxiation.

“Ronald, you made that decision to take these children’s mother,” Maples mother said.

About six months before Maples’ disappearance, Williams was released early from the Muskegon County Jail because of overcrowding.  He served six months of a 10-month sentence for delivering crack cocaine.  Williams was supposed to be sentenced on a heroin conviction a week before Maples disappeared, but it was delayed.

Williams could be eligible for parole in this case after serving 18 years in prison.