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Attorney For Denise Williams Requests New Trial

Denise Williams and her attorney face Judge James Hakinson as he explains her decision not to let the jury consider reduced charges. 12/13/2018

Denise Williams’ attorney Ethan Way says there is  “not enough evidence” to support a guilty verdict against his client, Denise Williams. Williams was found guilty of murder, conspiracy and accessory after the fact on Dec. 14 in the death of her first husband Mike Williams 18 years ago. In court documents, Way is asking for a new trial.

  The appeal cites Way’s concerns about the state's closing arguments in which prosecutor Jon Fuchs told the jury to consider Williams’ behavior and attitude during the trial. Way argues jurors may have used those instructions to consider factors outside of the evidence presented at trial.

Her ex-husband, Brian Winchester, testified in court he killed Mike Williams at the behest of and to be with Denise. The two married five years after Mike Williams was assumed to have drowned and been eaten by alligators during a solo duck hunting trip at Lake Seminole.

Two years ago, Winchester kidnapped Denise Williams at gunpoint. He was found guilty and is serving a 20-year prison sentence.

Williams has a sentencing hearing set for February 6th. She faces life in prison for the 1st degree murder charge, and up to life in prison for conspiracy to commit murder and accessory after the fact.

Follow @HatterLynn

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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