Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jury still deliberating in murder that was recorded on cell phone

LARGO — A jury spent more than seven hours Thursday deliberating in the murder case of Ronald Earl Williams, who was recorded on his wife's cell phone while stabbing her to death.

The jury had not reached a verdict by late Thursday night. Their hang-up likely was not over whether Williams killed his wife, but whether he was guilty of first- or second-degree murder.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Williams could face the death penalty. A second-degree murder conviction would bring a maximum sentence of life in prison.

During the 2007 killing, Williams' cell phone somehow called his wife's cell phone, which went to voice mail and provided a chilling recording of the crime. Williams can be heard saying he is going to kill his wife, Mariama, followed by her horrific screams and pleading.

Assistant Public Defender Kandice Friesen admitted Williams killed her, but said it was done "in the heat of passion" after she acknowledged cheating on him, meaning it was not premeditated, first-degree murder.

"He lost it. He snapped," she said.

Assistant State Attorney Walter Manning urged jurors to "listen to how calm that voice was when he said 'listen up, listen up, I'm fixing to kill your black a-- tonight.' That's premeditation."

Jurors asked questions that focused on the differences between first- and second-degree murder.

The cell phone not only recorded Mariama Williams screaming and pleading for her life, but also, Manning said, the voice of the Williams' 2-year-old daughter saying "please, Daddy, please stop it." Williams had put her in a back room in their St. Petersburg house before the killing.

Manning also pointed out that Mariama Williams suffered 27 stab wounds, 17 of which would have been fatal alone. Ronald Williams left the knife buried to the hilt in her chest.

Jury still deliberating in murder that was recorded on cell phone 02/10/11 [Last modified: Thursday, February 10, 2011 10:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. The boy was screaming with 7 hours left to fly. Then she held out her hand

    Nation

    She's a shy Jewish woman from Charlotte. He's a little boy, apparently African and Muslim, who was screaming aboard a transatlantic flight.

    Bentzion Groner posted photos on Facebook of his wife, Rochel Groner, comforting a wailing boy on their transatlantic flight. [Bentzion Groner Facebook]
  2. Detectives investigating after body found in vacant Tampa lot

    Crime

    TAMPA — Detectives are investigating after a man was found dead Tuesday in a vacant lot in north Tampa.

  3. Rays can't wave white flag

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Buck Showalter and his Baltimore Bladders were back at it against the Rays on Tuesday night at the Trop, where, the whole world knows by now, there is no bathroom in the visitors bullpen. Showalter, who mentioned it after the Orioles won Monday, agreed with us before the game: They ought to have a …

    Alex Cobb chases down a grounder by Texas Rangers right fielder Nomar Mazara in the fourth inning of Friday's game at Tropicana Field.
  4. Trump: Transgender people won't be allowed to serve in U.S. military

    Military

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says he will bar transgender individuals from serving "in any capacity" in the U.S. armed forces.

    President Donald Trump speaks during a rally, Tuesday, July 25, 2017, at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio. [Associated Press]
  5. 'Wonder Woman 2' gets a release date

    Blogs

    The sequel to Warner Bros. massive superhero hit Wonder Woman has a release date.

    'Wonder Woman' starring Gal Gadot was a box office smash hit.