By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
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.
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.