The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

March 23, 2013

Appeals court rules against Williams

WASHINGTON — A state appeals court upheld the murder conviction and sentence of Derek Franklin Williams this week.

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that Williams' 65-year sentence for the murder of his wife Kim was appropriate.

Williams, 50, was convicted in Daviess Superior Court  on April 9, 2012 for the Feb. 4, 2011 murder of his wife. The court also affirmed the trial court acted appropriately in jury instructions by denying Williams' request to instruct the jury about voluntary manslaughter, a lesser charge and a lower sentence than murder.

In the 3-0 written decision, the court said judge Dean Sobecki made the correct decision in distinguishing voluntary manslaughter from murder was the legal element called "sudden heat." The term is used for "anger, rage, resentment or terror sufficient to obscure the reason of an ordinary man; it prevents deliberation and premeditation, excludes malice, and renders a person incapable of cool reflection." The court ruled that since Williams told work colleagues that it would been easier to kill her financially rather than divorce her, there was evidence enough of premeditation and not enough of sudden heat.

It went on to say that if Sobecki had instructed the jury on the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, it would have committed an error.

On the second issue of the sentence length, the court said in its decision Williams¹ defense held the burden of proof that his sentence was too long.

The court said Williams' defense failed to provide enough proof due to the nature of the crime. It cited Williams killed his wife while she was in a defensive position, and caused pain. The court also noted the children were in the home and Williams struggled with Daviess County Sheriff's Dep. Mark Bledsoe when he arrived in the home.

Daviess County Prosecutor Dan Murrie said he appreciated the opinions the appeals court had made in the case.

"However, every time I think about this case, my thoughts go back to the victim and her two young sons," Murrie said. "Above all else, I hope they find peace, understanding and live well going forward." Williams was represented by Eugene Hollander of the state's Public Defender office while the state was represented by Attorney General Greg Zoeller and deputy George Sherman.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Man killed in motorcycle crash south of Monroe City

    A  Vincennes man died in a motorcycle accident on Friday afternoon south of Monroe City.

    April 19, 2014

  • Property taxes, short term loan discussed at B-R school meeting

    MONTGOMERY -- The Barr-Reeve School Board meeting was opened for comments Thursday from school patrons and Lana Helms asked about the increase in the property tax statement that she recently received. Helms said it was about a considerable increase.

    April 19, 2014

  • Saturday's police report CITY REPORT Friday 12:57 p.m. - A male caller said he witnessed, while playing golf, a red Jeep strike a sign and a telephone pole at the intersection of Northeast 12th Street and Brett Cabel Road. A stop sign was damaged, but the Jeep was not found.

    April 19, 2014

  • Griffith50 Griffith Elementary turns 50 Helen Griffith Elementary is celebrating a milestone as the school turns 50-years old. Earlier this week, current students and staff at the school met on the playground for a photo to commemorate the anniversary. Students sat in the formation of th

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • TaylirAnn.jpg No Headline Provided Taylor Mr. and Mrs. Kenny Taylor will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary today. Kenny Taylor and Ruth Lengacher were married April 19, 1969. The couple has one daughter, Sheila and Spencer Gingerich of Montgomery, and one son, Mark Taylor of L

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • frocks 'Forget the Frock' is a T-shirt with a real message New frilly dresses and tailored suits for Easter have been a tradition for many years, but a relatively new movement across the United States is changing that tradition for some local community members, as well as others across the country. "Forget

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Washington school transportation funding takes another hit The wheels on the buses are still going round and round for the Washington Community Schools, but the funding to keep them rolling all through the town is dwindling. The loss of tax revenue has caused the school board to look into funds other than th

    April 18, 2014

  • citytowergraphic.jpg High but not dry

    The city of Washington is constructing a 600,000-gallon water tower east of the city. Here's some information supplied by the city on the new tower.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - WT041814 - CoatsMug - NBS GOP set for Lincoln-Reagan Day celebration U.S. Sen. Dan Coats will be the featured speaker at the annual Daviess County Republican Lincoln-Reagan dinner. The dinner is set for April 22 at the Padaco event center. "Senator Coats is always a big draw at Lincoln Day dinners across the state and

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Highway of dreams approaching final phase For decades community leaders in southwestern Indiana dreamed of an interstate highway that would connect Indianapolis and Evansville. Now, that project is one contract from becoming a reality. The Indiana Department of Transportation and the Indian

    April 18, 2014