A cell phone has played a key role in catching a man who murdered his wife. Ronald Earl Williams stabbed his wife to death four years ago in 2007, but did not expect the crime to be recorded. It appears that during the attack on his wife, Mariama Williams, Ronald Earl somehow accidentally activated his own cell phone, which sent a voicemail to Mariama’s own cell phone… and literally recorded her own murder.
Assistant State Attorney Walter Manning told a Pinellas County Court earlier this week that the cell phone recorded Williams’ threat to kill his wife, as well as her screams as he proceeded to stab her no less than twenty seven times.
The St Petersburg Times earlier reported that authorities had originally charged Williams with second degree murder, but that once the voicemail message had been found, the charges were upgraded to first degree murder. Williams’ attorney, Public Defender Kandice Friesen, says that her client admits to the crime but claims that it was not premeditated and that Williams snapped after discovering his wife had been unfaithful. If Friesen can convince the jury of this, they will be forced to find him not guilty of first degree murder but guilty of second degree murder, which brings a maximum sentence of life in prison. If they jury does not believe this argument, they will be forced to find him guilty of first degree murder – a crime that brings with it the death penalty in Florida.