Case Brief Williams V. State

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Williams v. State , 110 So. 2d 654 (1959). Facts Williams was convicted and sentenced to death for the rape of a seventeen year old young woman. The victim testified that while driving a few minutes after leaving a store, Webb City, parking lot on the night of December 18, 1957 Williams stabbed her with an ice pick from the back seat of her car. He then drove her around town, sexually assaulted her twice, stopped the car and left. The victim was medically treated and examined. Sexual assault and a severe chest wound were confirmed. At the time of his arrest, Williams told the arresting officer he climbed into the back of the victim’s car, a green Buick, while it was parked because he thought it was his brother’s and he wanted to take a nap. During trial, he testified he knew the victim previously, had sex with her prior to that night and on that night. He claimed the wound was from a sudden stop in the car which forced the ice pick the victim was holding (to threaten defendant against ending their relationship) into her chest. During trial evidence of a previous incident was entered as evidence of identity, intent, and planning (as ordered to the jury by the judge). Sixteen year old Judy Baker and Officer Kirk testified that six weeks prior, on the night of November 5, 1957, Williams was apprehended by police running from Miss Baker’s car (parked at Webb City) after she found him in the back seat and screamed. Williams told the officers that he had climbed into the car, a black Plymouth, believing it was his brother’s, to take a nap. Issues Should evidence of a similar criminal situation between a defendant and another party be admissible? Rules The “Rule of Evidence” states any fact relevant to prove a fact is admissible unless specifically excluded by another rule. The “Rule of Admissibility” states similar fact evidence can be used

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