Pastor, ex-convict speak about Brunswick crime

Published On: Mar 28 2013 09:57:13 PM EDT
Updated On: Mar 29 2013 12:41:09 AM EDT

Ken Adkins, former criminal turned preacher, forms program to asisst young offenders. He speaks out in light of the Brunswick shooting.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -

A pastor and an ex-convict are speaking about last week's fatal shooting of a 13-month-old baby in Brunswick.

Cleo Williams cuts hair for a living, but he says that wasn't the case several years ago, Williams told Channel 4, he used to make a living illegally, selling drugs and robbing people.

"I wanted money. I wanted to enjoy myself out here in the world too," said Williams. "I couldn't get a job, so I took matters in my own hands."

Williams' troubled past eventually caught up with him and he spent three years in prison. He said today, he is a different person.

Williams adds that he's frustrated to see the pictures of young teens from Brunswick accused of robbery and murder.

"Holding a gun and certain images are not the way you should be living," said Williams. "You can make it working a nine to five, you don't have to be sticking anyone up."

Williams got himself back on track last year by turning to Greater Dimensions Christian Fellowship church for help looking for a job. Williams found that job through the church's program, Glynn County Ready for Work.

"They don't judge about your past or anything, they try to help you reach your goals and find out what your strengths and weaknesses are to help you be a better person," said Williams.

Williams has since become the licensed barber for the church. His success in the program is something that Pastor Ken Adkins is proud of.

Since 2007, Adkins has helped hundreds of men like Williams start over and find work.

"We can teach them how to dress, how to be successful, take the dreads out of your head and how to pull your pants up," said Adkins. "How to fill out a resume, how to talk and just start over."

It's a second change that Adkins said he sees far too many young black men needing.

"It just makes me sick to my stomach. I am extremely upset," said Adkins.

Both Adkins and Williams are concerned about 15-year-old Dominique Lang and 17-year-old De'Marquise Elkins' future, the two teens accused of the death of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago.

"Whether they are guilty or not, we all need to wake up. Everything that seems cool, ain't cool," said Williams. "We are all headed towards destruction. What affects one family, affects us all."

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