Admitted killer Brian Winchester testified on Wednesday in Florida that he took “sexual” pictures of his wife and defendant Denise Williams.
Winchester was shown photos of the two women in physical contact and testified that these images would have been from the same trip, from sometime in 2000 or 2001. This was after the death of Jerry Michael Williams, before Winchester’s separation from his spouse Kathy, and before he and the defendant went public with their relationship, according to testimony.
Denise Williams stands trial in Leon County, Florida for the December 16, 2000 murder of her husband, who went by Mike.
The story behind this killing is bit convoluted. The victim went missing that day after going out on a duck hunting trip to Lake Seminole, but his body didn’t turn up. Shortly after, Denise Williams collected $1.75 million on three life insurance policies on this life, said Assistant State Attorney Jon S. Fuchs. Winchester, a financial planner, sold two of those. He had been friends with the Williamses for years. The witness divorced his wife in 2003, and married Denise in 2005.
Jump to 2016. The couple had been separated for four years, and as Winchester admitted on the stand Wednesday, he broke into Denise’s car, hid in the back, and confronted her when she entered the vehicle. He said he was armed.
Long story short, Winchester pleaded no contest in this case, and reached an immunity agreement with prosecutors in which he claimed that he and Denise planned Mike’s murder. Winchester said he lured the victim out to Lake Seminole (which is north of Tallahassee), and promised to show him a special hunting spot. Then, when they were out on the water, he shoved Mike off the boat. The original plan was to stage this as an accidental drowning, but the victim held onto a tree stump. Brian said he shot Mike in the face with a shotgun, and he buried the victim near Carr Lake.
Prosecutors are using the sexual pictures to bolster their claim that Winchester really did have a sexual relationship with Denise before the murder. The defense is suggesting that there is no proof of an actual affair.
The state introduced tickets showing that Brian and the defendant had gone to concerts on October 21, 1999, July 2001, December 2001, April 2002, and Sept. 2002. That’s all before the two went public with their relationship, he said.
As mentioned before, Winchester testified the sexual pictures were from after Mike’s death, and before his separation from Kathy in Sept. 2001. He said he couldn’t remember the exact timing. Denise and Kathy were described in court as holding hands, hugging, and kissing. Brian was more cagey in his description.
“They are photographs of Denise with my first wife Kathy of a sexual nature,” he said. This pictures were taken in a trip to Panama City, Florida. According to him, the trio traveled often. Other locations included Orlando, and Colorado.
Under cross-examination, defense lawyer Ethan Way pointed out that pictures largely didn’t show Winchester in physical contact with the women, except for cheek-to-cheek. Brian said that he was the one taking the photos.
Winchester testified Tuesday that he, Denise, the victim, and Kathy often went out to bars, concerts, and so forth. He described there being lots of drinking. He remembered one night in particular in which the quartet “discussed sex.”
“Things that married couples shouldn’t be talking about with each other,” he said, vaguely.
In opening statements on Tuesday, Fuchs told jurors that Kathy claimed that she, Denise, and Brian had sexual relations with each other during a trip to Panama City in 2000, prior to Michael’s death.
He and Williams wouldn’t get married until 2005. In Winchester’s account, he and Denise didn’t go public with the relationship until after a long, and fraught process. According to him, he and his wife separated in 2001, he cheated on Denise with another woman, she cheated on him with her co-worker, he admittedly tried to get back together with Kathy, and he divorced Kathy in 2003. Like we said, convoluted.
[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]