12-05-2005, 05:28 PM #1
AR - James Williams, 48, shot to death, Bryant, 30 July 2003
Crying on her mother's shoulder, a Bryant teenager pleaded no contest Friday to shooting her father to death in July 2003.
Amy Williams, 17, was sentenced to 60 years in prison for killing James Craig Williams. Saline County Circuit Judge Gary Arnold sentenced her to the maximum of 40 years for first-degree murder and the maximum of 20 years for theft of property. The sentences are to be served consecutively.
After shooting her father in the chest and head with his high-power rifle, Amy Williams stole her father's ATM card and withdrew $150 just hours after his death.
Herzfeld said Amy Williams came home from school, practiced using her father's rifle, "donned ear protection, went to the living room and shot him in the chest and the back of his head. Then she stole his wallet and credit cards and drove off in his 1995 truck."
Defense attorney Dustin Dyer had no objections to the prosecution's burden of proof.
When Arnold asked if she pleaded no contest to the murder and theft of property charges, Amy Williams uttered a barely audible,"Yes, sir," with her arms tightly wrapped around her mother, Gwen Williams.
Her father was found by authorities face down in a pool of blood in his house on Sierra Place in Bryant.
Williams had originally pleaded innocent to the charges before accepting the negotiated plea on Friday. An attempt to move her trial to juvenile court was made last year by the defense; however, Arnold ruled that she was competent enough to be tried as an adult.
She had just finished her sophomore year at Bryant High School when the crimes occurred. She had lived alone with her father after her parents' divorce. Since being charged with the crimes, she has been in custody at a juvenile detention facility in Danville.
12-05-2005, 05:31 PM #2
Decision due on moving teen's murder case to juvenile court
Girl accused of killing father
Sixteen-year-old Amy Williams, who is charged with capital murder in the July 30 death of her father, James Craig Williams, was tearful and appeared anxious in a hearing Wednesday. The defense, represented by Joe Kelly Hardin and Richard Mattison, contended that she is not violent, is capable of rehabilitation, and therefore the case should be transferred to juvenile court.
Circuit Judge Gary Arnold will rule on the transfer request by the end of this week, he said.
Amy William's mother, Gwen Williams, testified on her behalf, saying Amy was "best friends with her father." Because of truancy and behavioral problems, she said, Amy Williams was admitted to Pinnacle Pointe Behavioral Hospital in Little Rock where Dr. Gary Hogan prescribed her Prozac.
She said her daughter was not "herself" after her father's death. "She was hysterical and looked star-gazy."
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