Dead woman’s family prays for husband accused of killing her — (The Oakridger)

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The Oakridger

Monday, March 20, 2000

by Woody Baird, Associated Press

MEMPHIS — Stacey Williams’ family buried her and prayed for her husband, Frederick, who is charged with killing her along with two firefighters and a deputy sheriff. The deputy and firefighters were shot from ambush March 8 as they arrived at the Williams’ residence, which was on fire.

Mrs. Williams, 32, was later found inside the house, also shot to death. Williams, an off-duty firefighter at the time of the shooting, was shot by police and seriously wounded.  He is charged with four counts of murder as well as arson and attempted murder.

Mrs. Williams’ family remembered her Saturday as a loving mother and devout Christian and asked those attending her funeral at World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church not to hate her husband. “Stacey was indeed a beautiful person, loving, kind and full of life,” said Greg Guy, an uncle. “She was a big-hearted person. So to honor her, the family earnestly requests that there be no hatred or ill-will toward Frederick Williams.” The statement was met by applause from the audience. Family and friends say the shooting apparently began with a domestic dispute between Mrs. Williams and her husband of less than a month.

Mrs. Williams had filed a domestic abuse complaint against Williams prior to their marriage.  Her mother, Gwen Jones, told The Commercial Appeal that Williams, 41, suffered from emotional problems and was on medication for depression.  “I know he had a mental condition, but I also know he sincerely did love the Lord and was trying to be delivered from those things that were troubling him,” Jones said.  Jones said she advised her daughter not to rush into the marriage. “I told Stacey and I told Fred that I wouldn’t marry a man who hurt me,” Jones told the newspaper. “But I knew that Stacey was going to do what she was going to do no matter what I said.”

Mrs. Williams had a 4-year-old daughter by Williams and an 8-year-old son from a previous marriage. Guy said the family hopes Williams can get help “for his mental condition, and that he will be able to live with himself.”  “Pray for him. Pray for his family, and pray for us,” Guy said.  Alton R. Williams, pastor of World Overcomers, thanked the city’s firefighters and police officers “for risking their lives for us.” Williams, who is not related to the deceased, sought to comfort the mourners by reminding them of Mrs. Williams’ strong religious beliefs. “If you’re a child of God, no matter when you go or how you go, you’re just changing pastures,” he said.  Also killed in the shooting were deputy Rupert Peete, 45, and firefighters Javier Lerma, 41, and William Blakemore, 48.

 

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Former Memphis, Tenn., firefighter found not guilty by reason of insanity in killing spree — (The Commercial Appeal)

By LAWRENCE BUSER

(Memphis, Tenn.) Calling it the hardest decision he’s had to make in 30 years on the bench, a judge Monday found a former firefighter who killed his wife, two colleagues and a sheriff’s deputy not guilty by reason of insanity.

Criminal Court Judge Arthur Bennett, who is retiring in August, agreed with mental health experts who testified for the defense last month that Frederick Williams had a severe mental disease and did not know right from wrong when he went on the shooting rampage on March 8, 2000.

Copyright 2006 The Commercial Appeal, Inc.