CLEARFIELD – Jurors watched the state police’s full, two-and-a-half-hour interview with Morrisdale murder suspect, Kimberly S. Williams, during day four of her trial on Friday.
Williams, now 48, is accused of 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 fully dependent upon others to care for him.
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.
Trooper David Patrick testified that he and Trooper Frederick Burns went to Kimberly Williams’ home late the evening of March 14, 2019 and asked her to go back to the barracks to discuss her husband’s death.
Patrick said she wasn’t being taken into custody, had signed non-arrest paperwork and agreed to the interview, meaning she was free to leave at any time if she chose to do so.
The interview, which was around two-and-a-half hours long, was played in full for jurors. It began around 11:37 p.m. on the night in question, and Kimberly Williams spoke of the very turbulent marriage she had with her husband.
She told troopers she put up with two decades worth of abuse, Ronald Williams didn’t let up after his stroke when she became his around-the-clock caregiver and she wanted her life back.
She also spoke of reconnecting with an old friend – Terry Carter from North Carolina – with whom she was having an extramarital affair and with whom she desired to be with.
Kimberly Williams said she and her husband woke up around 12:30 p.m. or 1 p.m. March 14, 2019 and had been fighting because he was still obsessing over her “going away” to a hotel for a few days before that.
She told troopers she was in their bedroom, ready to just leave him there and call his case manager to have him put in a nursing home when she saw him aiming his pistol at her.
Kimberly Williams said she asked: “what, you’re going to kill me now?” which got no response. As she stood at her dresser with her back to him, she said she heard a gunshot.
Because he’s fired a gun in their home before, she said she waited several seconds as she expected to hear Ronald Williams slam the gun down to intimidate her, but then turned to find he’d shot himself in the head.
Patrick testified that during the interview, he was aware of information investigators received from James Wilkinson, the Pittsburgh-based financial advisor overseeing the couple’s special needs trust valued at over $1.1 million.
Wilkinson had turned over an e-mail from Ronald Williams earlier that same day, directing Wilkinson to make sure an autopsy was done if anything happened to him and asking to change his will.
Patrick also questioned Kimberly Williams’ story because she made statements about having to “forfeit” her portion of the couple’s medical malpractice settlement and instead put it into the trust.
She indicated she wouldn’t see any of that money unless her husband passed away, but claimed: “I didn’t kill him for the money,” and that she wanted her life and sanity back more than any amount of money.
So, when Patrick pressed Kimberly Williams about what really happened earlier that day, she responded angrily and by repeatedly commenting: “I would never do anything to hurt, Ron – ever!”
At one point, she indicated she was willing to submit to a lie detector test, and as she sobbed, she stated: “I’m going home. I want a lawyer.” Then, she got up and left.
Shortly thereafter, she returned to the room with Trooper Randy Powell and Steve Johnson. Ultimately, they swabbed her hands for gunshot residue and she signed a search warrant waiver to permit investigators to examine her mobile devices.
Kimberly Williams and her attorney specifically requested that the interview be shown in its entirety including the portion of questioning where she asked for an attorney.
In the video, she was very distraught, sobbing hysterically and making it difficult to even understand her at times. She also told troopers she was exhausted; the interview ended at approximately 2 a.m.
Troopers expressed they didn’t want Kimberly Williams to leave alone. She left with her sister and once home, she gave Patrick and Burns several devices, as well as a dress and robe she had on earlier that day.
Forensic Scientist Tarah Helsel of RJ Lee Lab said she tested swabs from both Kimberly and Ronald Williams’ hands for gunshot residue.
While no residue was found on Ronald Williams’ hands, she said there was gunshot residue found on Kimberly Williams’ left palm and the right sleeve of her dress.
Though the commonwealth hasn’t rested its case, both sides agreed to permit testimony out of order from defense witness, Akinola O. Mobolaji, who was Ronald Williams’ mental health practitioner from Sound Mind, Philipsburg.
Mobolaji, who no longer lives in the area, testified via teleconference that he treated Ronald Williams from October of 2018 through February of 2019, describing him as being in a depressive state and having intrusive fears of death.
However, under cross-examination, Mobolaji admitted that Ronald Williams denied ever having any suicidal ideations or intentions, noting this was “convincing” during his Jan. 28, 2019 visit.
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.
It will resume at 9 a.m. Monday in Courtroom No. 1 at the Clearfield County Courthouse before President Judge Fredric Ammerman.