CLEARFIELD – A Centre County-based pathology expert told jurors Wednesday that he believes a Morrisdale man’s death was a homicide, not suicide.
Kimberly S. Williams, now 48, is on trial for allegedly shooting and killing her husband, Ronald Williams Jr., the afternoon of March 14, 2019 at the couple’s Elm Drive home, then staging it to appear as a suicide.
Further investigation revealed that the victim had suffered a severe stroke six years prior, was partially paralyzed and bedridden.
Additionally, Clearfield-based state police troopers learned that he’d asked to change his will, because he felt something wasn’t right, and that his wife was planning to kill him.
Kimberly Williams is charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter in connection with her husband’s death.
She’s also charged with felony aggravated assault (two counts) as well as misdemeanor simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.
On Wednesday, Pathologist Dr. Harry Kamerow said that he performed an autopsy on Ronald Williams March 15, 2019. Upon examination of the gunshot wound, he discovered it “completely lacked” soot deposition and powder stippling.
Because it didn’t appear to be a contact or even close contact wound, he had the surrounding skin and subcutaneous tissue processed for microscopy. Gunpowder pigment wasn’t seen on the microscopy.
This caused Kamerow to request that state police investigators conduct ballistic testing to determine the distance soot and stippling would occur from the pistol.
He said testing determined the pistol would have been held at least 48 – 72 inches away from Ronald Williams when the shooting occurred.
Because the victim’s arm measured 34.1 inches in length, Kamerow concluded it was “physically impossible” for Ronald Williams to have shot himself as the scene suggested.
Kamerow ruled that Ronald Williams died as a result of a single gunshot wound to the head, and then changed his manner of death from unknown to homicide.
Funeral Director Charles Heath of Heath Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Osceola Mills, said he went to the home of Kimberly Williams on March 14, 2019 to remove the body of her deceased husband.
Initially, he said Kimberly Williams wanted to have Ronald Williams cremated and he directed her to complete necessary paperwork the following day.
Heath said after the body was transported to the funeral home’s crematory service in Altoona, he was contacted by the Clearfield County Coroner’s office, which indicated the body needed to be returned for autopsy.
Afterwards, Kimberly Williams changed her mind, deciding to also have a viewing and funeral service. “There was nothing unusual about it,” Heath said. “She was the typical widow.”
Jurors also heard from several other witnesses Wednesday afternoon. Testimony resumes at 9 a.m. today in Courtroom No. 1 at the Clearfield County Courthouse.
The trial is being prosecuted by District Attorney Ryan Sayers and First Assistant DA Leanne Nedza; Kimberly Williams is being represented by defense attorney Steven Paul Trialonas.