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Wife: I Didn’T Want To Be Abused Again

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

A WOMAN on trial for her husband’s murder said she did not want to be abused again by her husband, but that wish was not the reason for killing him.

Jessie Williams yesterday maintained that stabbing her husband was only her trying to stop him from choking her and not to kill him for the many years of abuse she suffered at his hands.

This was the testimony of the 45-year-old Nassau Village woman under cross-examination by the prosecution, who said she loved her husband and had no intention of killing him on July 31, 2010.

Williams is charged with the murder of her 45-year-old husband, Sylvanus Williams.

Mr Williams died in a vacant parking lot between the Green Parrot Bar and the Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association (BASRA) headquarters on East Bay Street.

At the opening of the trial, the court heard that the victim arrived at about 9pm to report for his shift as a security guard at the US-based firm American Bridge, but was stabbed by a woman following an argument. He died at the scene.

His wife, an American citizen of Boston, Massachusetts, is accused of stabbing him. She has denied the murder charge.

Yesterday, the widow continued her testimony before a jury and was cross-examined by lead prosecutor Neil Brathwaite.

Mr Brathwaite referred to the accused’s testimony on Thursday when she told the court that on the way to East Bay Street, she, her husband, her godchild and a dog, got caught in a traffic jam and her husband, angry, tried to go around and nearly crashed into an oncoming car.

She claimed he got out of the car with his unlicensed shotgun and threatened to kill the driver.

The prosecutor told her that such information was significant yet she didn’t give this to police when her statement was taken.

“I did tell the police. I don’t understand why it’s not there,” she answered, adding that she was still shaken up from the ordeal that had happened so fast.

“I was hurt. I had just been in a fight. I had been choked. I had just killed my husband,” she said.

He also asked her how the shotgun she claimed was between her husband’s legs had ended up in the backseat when police arrived on the scene.

She said she didn’t know how it got there.

Mr Brathwaite also noted that her testimony about not knowing the location of the hunting knife in the jeep was different from what she told police.

“No sir,” she said.

“But you signed the statement as true and correct?” the prosecutor asked.

“Like I said I wasn’t sure,” the accused said.

Mr Brathwaite, referring to the evidence of a pathologist that the victim had a defence wound on him, asked the defendant to explain how Sylvanus had got cut in his palm as opposed to his arm where she claimed she tried to stab him to free her from his vice grip.

The accused said: “I don’t know. I was being choked. I was trying to get his hands off my throat. I was trying to breathe.”

“You were tired of your of husband beating you?” Mr Brathwaite asked. “If you were being beaten would you be tired?” she asked him.

Justice Vera Watkins interrupted to remind the accused that she could not answer counsel’s question with a question.

“You had enough?” Mr Brathwaite continued with his questioning.

“I don’t know what you call enough,” the accused answered.

The prosecutor asked her if she had wanted her husband to hurt her again. She said no.

“So you had enough?” he asked.

“Yes,” she replied.

“You had enough. Is that why you stabbed him?” the prosecutor asked.

“Killing him was not the reason,” she replied.

The prosecutor suggested to her that she murdered her husband because she had had enough of the abuse.

“I loved my husband,” she replied.

In re-examination, defending attorney Godfrey Pinder asked his client why she had left the Bahamas when she had moved there shortly after his deportation from the USA.

“I left because my husband was beating me, choking me constantly” she answered.

He also asked her if she was still shaken up by the incident when giving police her statement two days after the fact.

“Yes, sir,” she answered.

“Are you sorry your husband is dead?” Mr Pinder asked.

“Yes,” she said,

Mr Pinder called two witnesses to the stand to testify for the defence. Both witnesses recalled how the accused was abused by Sylvanus. The prosecution did not cross-examine these witnesses.

The trial resumes on Monday at 11am when counsel will make their closing addresses to the jury as a last chance to influence them that Jessie Williams did or did not intend to murder her husband, Sylvanus Williams.

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