Local News

Jury Gets Williams Murder Case

Posted February 25, 1998

— Jurors began their work Thursday afternoon in the murder trial of John Williams. He's accused of killing two women and assaulting five others in Raleigh.

Williams could get the death penalty if he's found guilty. Prosecutors say DNA evidence and the similarities between the crimes is enough to prove their case. But Williams' lawyers say police are using their client as a scapegoat.

Thursday morning, the judge spent time instructing the jury in points of the law they will be considering in each of the seven cases. Wednesday, the defense painted their client as the victim of a police frame-up. They said there was not enough physical evidence to convict Williams, and that DNA evidence alone should not be sufficient.

The prosecution painted a different picture-- one of a serial rapist who prayed on vulnerable women in North Carolina and Williams' native state of Georgia. Prosecutors say his hunger for power and control led him to kill two women and to assault five others.

Due to the number of cases involved and the complexity of the law, more than an average amount of time was being spent on instructions. However, the jury is expected to begin deliberations before the end of the day.

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