[Court is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET. Watch the hearing in the player above with our expert legal analysis. For a raw feed, scroll to the bottom of this article.]
A pretrial hearing is expected Tuesday morning in the case of Florida woman Denise Williams. She is set to face jurors starting December 10 in the murder of her husband Jerry Michael Williams.
Mr. Williams went missing in December 2000. Investigators with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said he was last seen going duck hunting on Lake Seminole. His disappearance eluded immediate explanations. Authorities spent years working on the case with no apparent break. Some even though the victim was eaten by alligators.
Then came 2016. Jerry’s former wife Denise Williams was allegedly kidnapped by her then-husband (and Jerry’s best friend) Brian Winchester. The alleged perpetrator pleaded no contest, and received a 20-year sentence in 2017, according to The Orlando Sentinel. Brian allegedly sold Jerry a $1 million life insurance policy six months before the 2000 disappearance. After her husband went missing, Denise petitioned to have him declared dead, then she married Winchester.
Now, almost two decades later, Williams is going to stand trial for her alleged role in her dead husband’s murder, and Winchester is expected to testify that he fatally shot the victim after Denise had the idea to kill her husband.
Brian won’t face charges in this, however. He signed an immunity deal with prosecutors, which determined that he won’t be held responsible for whatever he tells authorities about the case unless it is determined that he wasn’t telling the truth.
Williams faces charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, accessory after the fact, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, and two counts of insurance fraud of $100,000 or more. Her attorney Ethan Way told WFLA when she first appeared in court in May that it was Winchester who pulled the trigger, and he suggested that the man was lying.
“There’s a big difference between flipping and fiction,” he said.
Jerry Michael Williams’ body was discovered in 2017.
[Screengrab via WFLA]