He Can’T Stay Out Of Trouble

William Sweatt

William Sweatt


A Payson man wanted on a misdemeanor warrant racked up a slew of other charges last week when officers reportedly tried to arrest him.

During a warrant roundup, William Merill Sweatt, 27, reportedly grew combative with officers when they pulled him over on West Aero Drive Thursday evening.

Officers eventually booked Sweatt into the Gila County Jail, but not before finding heroin, guns and drug paraphernalia in his green SUV, said Payson Police Chief Don Engler.

A convicted felon with a lengthy criminal record, Sweatt had a history with police, Engler said.

Among his convictions, Sweatt pleaded guilty in 2009 to hindering prosecution for his role in the death of Roger Watson, who was shot then stuffed into the trunk of a car that was set on fire. A judge sentenced Sweatt to four years in prison.

Sweatt had faced charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy, arson, abandonment and tampering with evidence in the case, but pleaded to the lesser charge.

Two other men arrested in the case also pleaded to lesser charges.

Sweatt has also been on the receiving end of violence. In October 2011, Sweatt was stabbed in his home, allegedly over a stolen cell phone.

The woman who reportedly stabbed him, Brook Lynn Johnson, recently pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in the case.

On Thursday, an officer pulled Sweatt over on a misdemeanor warrant out of Payson court and for driving on a suspended license. During the traffic stop, Sweatt was reportedly uncooperative with officers, telling them he was not going to go to jail, Engler said. Several other officers arrived and after a struggle, placed him under arrest , Engler said.

During a search, officers allegedly found 3.2 grams of heroin, a gun holster and drug paraphernalia on Sweatt. A U.S. Forest Service officer and his K-9 then found two handguns, and other drug paraphernalia. Sweatt denied the guns were his even though they fit his holster, Engler said.

Police booked Sweatt on chargers of possessing a narcotic drug, drug paraphernalia, transporting a narcotic drug, four counts of weapons misconduct, resisting arrest, aggravated DUI and a misdemeanor warrant.

Sweatt is being held on a $1,000 bond in the warrant case and $15,000 for the new charges.

Online court records dating back to 2003 show Sweatt has been sentenced for DUI, theft, driving without insurance, possession of drug paraphernalia, underage consumption, disorderly conduct, criminal damage, driving with a suspended license and failure to appear.


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