0

Jury Unanimously Found Jessie Williams Not Guilty

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

A WOMAN on trial for her husband’s murder was acquitted of the murder charge yesterday after a Supreme Court jury unanimously found her not guilty of the crime.

photo

Jessie Williams is led to court.

Jessie Williams, already near tears waiting to hear her fate at the hands of an all woman jury, sobbed at the foreman’s announcement that she did not murder her husband, Sylvanus Williams, on July 31, 2010.

Her lead attorney, Godfrey Pinder, joined by his assistant Tonya Kemp-Sawyer, spoke to The Tribune about yesterday’s verdict.

“She was found not guilty 12 to nothing,” said Mr Pinder, “so that speaks for itself. They (the jury) never thought she was guilty in the first place and that’s why they rendered her not guilty.”

“Now it wasn’t because it was a 12-woman jury, but I think a 12-woman jury could better understand the situation of a woman in her position with all the beatings and all the bruises, and all that happened, the abuse that took place with respect to Jessie’s husband.”

“God rest his soul. I’m sorry he’s dead as she is. And she still loves him dearly, but it was an accident that was never meant to happen,” the lawyer concluded.

Yesterday, after discharging the jury, Justice Vera Watkins told the 45-year-old Nassau Village woman that she was free to go unless she had any other matter holding her before the courts.

Jessie Williams was charged with the murder of her 45-year-old husband, who 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, was accused of stabbing him. She denied the murder charge.

Yesterday the judge summed up the evidence before excusing the jury at 1pm to decide on the fate of Mrs Williams.

During the trial, two witnesses, her godchild, and a woman in the parking lot who watched the ordeal unfold, testified that the deceased was stabbed after Mrs Williams escaped his choke hold on her, got out of the Chevy Blazer jeep and stabbed him.

Mrs Williams took the stand after the prosecution closed its case and maintained that in stabbing her husband she was only trying to stop him from choking her. However, she did not kill him for the many years of abuse that she had suffered at his hands.

She said she did not want to be abused again by her husband, but that wish was not the reason for killing him.

On Monday morning, counsel, Godfrey Pinder and prosecutor Neil Brathwaite, made their closing addresses to the jury.

The jury returned with yesterday’s 12-0 not guilty verdict, three hours after being excused to deliberate.

Comments

BahamaSand 7 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

sburrows 7 years, 10 months ago

my only regret for this woman is she missed his neck!

0

bfly 7 years, 10 months ago

If only life was as easy as 'just leave'. You have no idea what that woman may have been going through. Most people in abusive situations can't 'just leave'. If it were that easy, no one would be in an abusive relationship. "No one forced her to stay in that situation"??? You don't know that either, he may have threatened to kill her night and day.

I'm not giving her right for killing her husband or saying she shouldn't have served time, but when it comes to abuse, never make assumptions.

1

VS 7 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

1

kenny 7 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

1

BoopaDoop 7 years, 10 months ago

U kneed 2 use sum Lifebuoy sope to wash yer derty mouth. We know what happened to Jessie. The eyewitness told the court. She used a knife to stab another human 6 times.

1

BahamaSand 7 years, 10 months ago

hahaah you do realize that this is the internet and your words can and will never move me right... Wrong is WRONG. Furthermore, why was there 12 women on the jury! So not right, very biased. And to the commentator above, who are you to say that I've never been through abusive relationships? You don't know me more than you knew the American man to first land on the moon. She could have left, go to the same police who she call and get an order put out and start anew. SHE WRONG! and no amount of "cuss words" OVER the INTERNET will change my stance. As previously mentioned though, as sure as the sun shine, karma exists.

0

VS 7 years, 10 months ago

BahamaSand, Make no mistake, no one is glorifying murder here. But let's just put it like this: If you had 10 seconds to decide your fate, would you be a victim? Or, in an effort to defend your life, would you choose to be a "murderer"? It is overly apparent that, based solely on your previous statement(s), you have not - and hopefully never will - encountered abuse. You don't know the psyche or mindset of a woman who is involved in a volatile relationship such as this one, simply because you are not 'that' woman. Or a psychiatrist, whichever best applies. As the saying goes, "Who feels it, knows it." You speak from the perspective of someone who is on the outside looking inward. Again, this situation is most unfortunate and, without running the risk of blaming the 'victim' (deceased), I'll just say that none of this would've probably ever happened had there been no abuse taking place, whatsoever.

1

shinez 7 years, 10 months ago

My cousin has been through enough with this man. I feel bad that it happen that way, But he has abused her for many many years and she tried everything to save her marriage (even moving away from her family) to try and make a life for her family. Don't let this article fool you, he was beating the shit out of her and she was dealing with it until she snapped!! So before u Judge someone know what the hell they've been through, cause if the shoe was on the other foot and he was choking the life out of u what would be your next move????

2

BahamaSand 7 years, 10 months ago

Not to snap would be the "CHRIST"-like thing to do, I mean since we're living in a "CHRISTian nation" right? Or I have the wrong Commonwealth? Stop sounding like a hypocrite. You sound like you is watch too much t.v. bout "she just snapped". Get off of the tell-lie-vision (television) shows like 'Snapped' it's ruining the morally fair mind that you have. The same energy you take to save something you obviously saw was not working is the SAME ENERGY you could expend getting out of the situation, I mean unless you have murdering tendencies of course and waiting for such an opportunity.

0

VS 7 years, 10 months ago

Out of curiousity, are you familiar with the deceased in this case? Do you know him personally? You are entitled to your opinion(s), but you seem fixated on defending Mr. Williams' actions, tooth-and-nail. "She should have just left" is the argument you present here, but what should also be said is, "He shouldn't have abused his wife". It's no different from blaming a rape victim by saying, "She shouldn't have worn that dress/skirt", or saying, "That's what she gets for dressing the way she does". And if we're going to touch on the Christ-like (i.e. Christian) thing to do, we must acknowledge that Christ was an advocate of peace. If we must go Biblical, let's take a look at the Scripture that states a man should love his wife as Christ loved the Church. No one truly knows what led up to the moments of this man being stabbed about the body. The eye-witnesses, likewise, can only recall what they'd seen, but none will have a single clue as to what primary cause of action was led to that moment. This is critical to any murder investigation...but I digress! Pray God you never end up like those women on the 'tell-lie-vision'. Old people used to say, "Ya don't pass nuttin' 'til ya dead!"

0

shinez 7 years, 10 months ago

I wish ppl would see that there is so much more to this story

1

shinez 7 years, 10 months ago

So when someone is choking the shit out of you and trying to kill u what are u gonna do tell them to stop so u can call the police.. or better yet are u just gonna lay there and die... KNOW YOUR FACTS HE SAID WHEN HE TAKES HER HOME HE WAS GONNA KILL HER... oh that's right your going off this media BS... cause u know so damn much just wait until it happens to You

0

shinez 7 years, 10 months ago

And that last message was to Bahamasand

0

mamalue 7 years, 10 months ago

I wish that those men who think that it is macho to treat a woman badly to prove that they are in control would take a lesson from this case. God said for men to love their wives as they love themselves, ypu would not choke or clap yourself, neither would you belittle yourself.

0

sburrows 7 years, 10 months ago

I couldn't AGREE with you more!

0

lawrighter1 7 years, 10 months ago

THIS CASE FELL APART BECAUSE THE OVER CONFIDENT PROSECUTION THOUGH THEY HAD A MURDER CONVICTION. The evidence showed no indication of premeditation, it show a person at their breaking point. If you are constantly being abuse there is a law on the books to deal with the situation, there was not one police report to support this abuse and this does not give a person the right to kill someone just because they are tired of the abuse and walk free. If this is the case WE now how a bigger problem on our hands. I truly agree she was not guilty of murder but to get out the car a stab a person under those circumstances and walk free is wrong,i will call it involuntery manslaughter or at least manslaughter.There must be laws on the books for that. This was not a self defense case. Neil Brathwaite should not have tried this as a murder case,

1

BahamaSand 7 years, 10 months ago

I don't know the law books as well as you do and I think I will take the time to do so. Possibly stating premeditation and murder was extreme but in any case you are right, she did not get any sort of charge for her action and that is what bothers me.

0

SharingOnline 7 years, 10 months ago

If this woman was suffering abuse all these years I can assure you that she, her children and many others have already and maybe will be suffering the punishment for many years to come. Her freedom was taken a while back.

0

sburrows 7 years, 10 months ago

I feel good for this woman...I'm a man and no woman should ever (EVER) have to feel the brute strength of a man. God made us men to protect our women, never to beat them physically or mentally!!!

1

concernedcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

i,m not talking about the verdict ,but is 12 female jurers ,a jury of our peers ..if i ever get in a disagreement with my girlfriend could i please get a jury with 12 men

1

bfly 7 years, 10 months ago

I do agree, no matter the circumstances, a 12 woman jury is kind of strange lol.

2

SharingOnline 7 years, 10 months ago

Remember both sides pick the jury.

1

haitianboy 7 years, 10 months ago

I’m a bit shock by some of the comments made; clearly some were made out of ignorance. No one knows what really went on in their marriage. I know a lot of pretentious married couples, who act a certain way in public but behind closed doors their different. I’m sure their relationship wasn’t like that in the beginning; remember she said yes to him at want point when he proposed to her. My heart goes out to them both and their families; especially for her knowing that she has to live with what she did for the rest of her life. If her husband was so abusive, why didn’t she leave him? Her husband may have been a drunkard and abuser, but is that a requirement to end his life. He wasn’t born a drunkard something led him to it. Remember, God created all of us and He wish, “For all men to be save”, He also said,” Vengeance is Mine, I shall repay”. That is why He sent His Son to die for us, it’s because of Christ where still here today.

2

Jill 7 years, 10 months ago

God should be the only one to judge her!

0

JohnBrown 7 years, 10 months ago

I DO NOT CONDONE ABUSE. Nevertheless, my grandmother, who lived to be 89 years of age, once said to me, `Child you see these dutty [sic] dirty young girls running round here, you better watch out! Let me tell you something, my son. If a woman can’t kill you, she’ll be the cause of your death.´

Without the facts of this case at hand, I can only look at what information the Tribune has released in their article and shake my head in wonderment at the deliberate display of incompetence by the prosecution, who scandalously picked such a jury. This case marks the hand writing on the wall for all our endangered species called Bahamian males. Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox sung the song, Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves, listen to it and you will here them say, ` Sisters are doin' it for themselves, standin’ on their own two feet, and ringin’ on their own bells. Well, it seems highly unlikely to me that if the jury composition was made up of 6 men and 6 women, that at the very least the entire group would not have dropped the ball and skidded past manslaughter. Then too, this woman might have been a Sister of the Eastern Star or her parent might have been a ranking members in that secret order.

Let us not forget that every woman and man has freedom of choice to do it for themselves, but with rights come duties and what is commonly known as responsibility. And are we not told the first law of nature is self preservation? So do you believe that a forty year old American woman could not have already lived long enough to have realized that she had the choice to walk away back to Boston from whence she came? Are we not looking at someone who should have received an Oscar Academy Awards for her performance? And to think that some infidel - like a ground hog that runs out see his shadow and runs back under a rock had the nerve to say – what about Bahamian women right? Well, I say what about American women rights to kill without mercy a Bahamian man in his own country and be given the benefit of the doubt and support of 12 Bahamian sisters lead by a butch in our court? Is this not twisted? Not even manslaughter for premeditated murder? Of course she did not really mean to do it because she had already suffered abuse for so many year at his hands and never thought to flee the Bahamas, did she? I say, there is no abuse that one can sustain which warrants death. Where did the weapon come from? Did she arrive at this man’s job with that weapon and deadly intent? Was it a choke hold? Is she an expert in self defence? And after you stabbed him the sixth time you decided that you did not want to kill him for the many years of abuse suffered at his hands? Why didn’t you keep stabbing for another 26 times?

Aretha Franklin sung another song, The house that Jack Built, well all I say it that happily for most Bahamian males (an endangered species), the ghost of Jack will be your constant partner Jessie for the rest of your life… enjoy sweetie.

1

BahamaSand 7 years, 10 months ago

Yes, THANK YOU for your reply. I take pride that another honest human being with sense is still out there! We appreciate you.

0

concernedcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

john brown you couldn,t bring out the black /white issue in this one ,so you went for the man/women and bahamian/american issue ....whats your solution this time ,mass slautherings or communal floggings and 99 years on the chain gang

1

JohnBrown 7 years, 10 months ago

"I think a 12-woman jury could better understand the situation of a woman in her position with all the beatings and all the bruises, and all that happened, the abuse that took place with respect to Jessie’s husband.”

CONSISTANT with the lead lawyer's statement of betrayal above, could a reasonably prudent person not conclude that any person(s) making such a blatantly male biased utterance be subjected to emasculation without painkiller and thereafter given legitimate entrance into the female ranks of society as a leader of the charge of super sensitive females that are more understanding to supposedly bullied, bruised, beaten and abused human beings?

Had this same situation occurred in REVERSE in America she would never have walked free, and not only that, but where this had been a Bahamian woman that had killed an American man, after serving extensive time in the slammer, she would have been DEPORTED IMMEDIATELY UPON RELEASE with no further reference ever again being made to her as a Nassau Village woman, or an Atlanta, Georgia woman.

It is high time that we Bahamians get out there and protest this type of miscarriage of justice Ìn your face.´

DEPORT JESSIE NOW! JESSIE GO HOME! AND TAKE YOUR 12 (RATHER 13 +1) DISCIPLES/COHORTS WITH YOU FOR YOU ALL ARE UNWELCOMED GUEST IN MY COUNTRY FROM THIS POINT ONWARD.

1

kenny 7 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

concernedcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

dude do you drink or something ,who are you the self annointed gate keeper ,,the only thing john brown likes is a bahamian male ......

0

shinez 7 years, 10 months ago

Ummm my cousin Jessie was born and raised in BOSTON DUMMY!!!!

0

BoopaDoop 7 years, 10 months ago

I think the prosecution should have gone for a manslaughter charge instead of murder due to the circumstances of abuse and the whole choking thing which took place just before she used a knife to stab her husband six times in the chest.

0

kenny 7 years, 10 months ago

she didint stap him six time she only stab him once to the left side of his chest read bahamas read !!

0

BahamaSand 7 years, 10 months ago

You're right. It wasn't six, it was one. One too much....

0

concernedcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

J Brown is an equal oppurtunity bigot ,he dislikes white people ,americans ,back or white ,women ,gay people ,lawyers ,he wants this one castraited ,and judges ...............................

0

JohnBrown 7 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

1

JohnBrown 7 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

1

BahamaSand 7 years, 10 months ago

JohnBrown, I'd suggest you don't even waste any more time on these folks because if you could use the excuse of your career as to why your spelling is so poor they obviously have no valuable intentions. I am 100% with JohnBrown on this one.

0

concernedcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

yeah and those are realistic solutions ,to deport 13 bahamian women and castrate a lawyer ............................................................and what are valuable intentions ?????

0

concernedcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

Mr Brown,my spelling ins,t so good as i said i,m a fisherman ,now to the point, apart from banishing the 13 miscreants to another country ,would a good old round of group floggings suffice ,should we include the wise mouth lawyer and judge ???how long shall the floggings last and could they conclude with a few slaugtherings, just to end the event with a bang ??

0

concernedcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

i was wondering should we flog the lawyer before we castrate him ,since you don,t want to give him painkilliers, he maybe a little more plyable after a good whipping ...........

0

JohnBrown 7 years, 10 months ago

Time is of essence to people like myself, unlike others amongst us.

Many times when one picks up data written in Microsoft word and is about to transfer it the Tribune, one might think that they have grabbed the entire document and either the text has shifted inadvertently or one may not have grabbed the complete document as was intentioned.

Unless ones is applying the principles of technical writing to research materials for specific purpose within a small country like England or our Bahamas, there is no need be bound by the anal retentive rules of either strict American English, Great Britain English, Bahamian English, or Black English at their highest levels. Just be consistent. I therefore chose to use some semblance of International English leaning towards American English (with regards to the spelling), which embodies all when communicating as such a low level, while living within the balls of a little American colony that has not yet been officially made a state. I leave you with something classy Ball of Confusion by the Temptations … And the band played on.

0

concernedcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

if my spelling doesn,t improve are you going to flog me ,slaugther me ,put me on the chain gang ,castrate me ,or deport me .These seem to be your solutions to everything you disagree with .i,m kind of busy the next two days ,but monday i have a little free time and you could met out one of your punishment from the Idi Amin school of how to control an unruley populace ..

0

concernedcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

John Brown you said it is high time for Bahamians to protest this type of injustice in your face .So can i expect to see you with a sign at the next sitting of the house ,or are your ramblings stuffed to the gills with an abundance of hyperbole ????

0

shinez 7 years, 10 months ago

I know what went on in their marriage cause I'm blood (family).. that should have never happen to him. But like I said before she has tried everything to fix it even with the abuse. I totally agree with the thou shall not hit woman rule and he didn't obey. My family has being trying to help her get though this for years but with all his threats we were scared too. They moved away and tried to make it work but he wouldn't stop. On the night of his death, he was still beating her, in public with no mercy. She defended herself. Some of u ppl on here could be in the same situation, weather it be an abusive husband or a complete stranger, but if some is choking the life out of you, your only thoughts is I don't wanna die like this. You would die or u u would fight back to defend yourself. In her case enough was enough. This man wanted her dead and no matter what u say walking away was not an option cause he always found her and beat her some more. Obviously the authorities wasn't any help. So again put yourself in my cousins shoes and picture yourself about to die and leave your kids behind with this abusive man wtf would u have done!!! Like I said it wasn't right but it happened and it still hurts her until this day, but she's still alive and here for her kids which their don't have to go though the abuse anymore either.. so never judge if u don't know the facts

1

Steph 7 years, 10 months ago

Just to clear up the facts for those persons who thought he was stabbed 6 times. he wasn't. He was stabbed only once. Unfortunately for him, it was a fatal one.

0

JohnBrown 7 years, 10 months ago

You should be proud of yourself for finally awakening pass the due date with the facts of the matter...I had only expected to get the facts from the Tribune, the preachers and the lawyers.

Think on this:

I begin to see what marriage is for. It's to keep people away from each other. Sometimes I think that two people who love each other can be saved from madness only by the things that come between them: children, duties, visits, bores, relations, the things that protect married people from each other. -Edith Wharton, novelist (1862-1937)

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. -Alexander Solzhenitsyn, novelist, Nobel laureate (1918-2008)

0

concernedcitizen 7 years, 10 months ago

Damm so no deportation of Jessie ,the 12 women on the jury, and emasculation of the lawyer ,finally i can rest ,justice has been served .

0

freebaby92 7 years, 9 months ago

I WAS IN JAIL WITH THIS WOMEN FROM WHEN SHE FIRST CAME AND I MUST SAY SHE DIDNT MEAN TO KILL HIM SHE STILL LOVES HIM AND CRYS TIL THIS VERY DAY IF ONLY SOME PEOPLE COULD SEE WHAT WE GO THROUGH IN JAIL IN A PLACE LIKE THAT AND BESIDES HER CHILDREN WERE OUT THERE ALONE THEY HAD NO PARENT BUT YET SHE STILL TRIED TO BE ONW WHILE SHE WAS IN JAIL SO BEFORE YOU SAY ANYTHING TRY TO BE IN HER SHOES FREEDOM IS A MUST AND GOD IS THE JUDGE

0

Sign in to comment