LARGO, Fla. – A Tampa Bay-area man convicted of killing his wife in a crime that was recorded because he'd accidentally called her cell phone has been sentenced to life in prison.
A Pinellas County judge sentenced 45-year-old Ronald Earl Williams on Friday. A jury found him guilty Thursday night of second-degree murder.
Prosecutors had been seeking a first-degree murder conviction and a possible death sentence.
Prosecutors said Williams activated his cell phone, which then called his wife's cell phone while he was killing her. Voicemail recorded Williams saying he was going to kill her, followed by 31-year-old Mariama Williams' terrified screams.
The defense acknowledged that Williams killed his wife but argued that it was not premeditated.
Information from: St. Petersburg Times, http://tampabay.com
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
LARGO, Fla. (AP) — A man who Florida authorities say accidentally called his wife's cell phone while killing her and left a voicemail recording of it was found guilty of second-degree murder.
Jurors reached the verdict Thursday outside St. Petersburg.
Ronald Earl Williams faced a possible death sentence, but defense attorneys told jurors their client killed his wife Mariama in 2007 and asked them to consider lesser charges.
Sentencing is set for Friday afternoon. The maximum sentence for second-degree murder is life in prison.
Prosecutors say Williams activated his cell phone, which then called his wife's cell phone while he was killing her. Jurors heard the voicemail recording of Williams saying he was going to kill her and the 31-year-old woman's screams.
Information from: St. Petersburg Times.