It took the jury nearly three hours to come to a verdict in the Kerry Don Williams trial, but when the decision was made, it was to keep Williams in jail for the rest of his life.
Thursday began with the closing arguments. Prosecutors were convincing as they guided the jury to "connect the dots" of the case. One prosecutor argued that Ivey's defense wounds proved that Williams was at the laundromat before the murder and concluded that since Williams' DNA was found on Ivey's pants, which police determined were removed after the crime, he had to have been on the scene after the murder.
It took the jury an additional 20 minutes after announcing the guilty verdict to come to an agreement about sentencing. After the sentence was read, courtroom prosecutor Sunshine Stanek read a statement written by the family of Charlotte Ivey, a part of which says:
"You could not have chosen a worse victim than you did that cold night in January. Charlotte Ivey was a mother of four and has seven grandchildren. She had lived an extremely hard life, she had gone through more than most ever have or ever will. She never had anything easy in her entire life or even in death. She was very loved and is very missed."
Stanek told us a lot of credit goes to the law enforcement that responded in 1994, at the time of the murder:
"They had the foresight to know that science would advance and someday they might get something off that evidence. Luckily, we had all of that and they collected it in a way that it was usable almost 20 years later."
The Judge declined to comment on whether Williams' life sentence would be served in addition to, or concurrent with his present sentence of 30 years for aggravated sexual assault but indicated the decision would be made within the next few weeks.
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