A Tarrant County jury has sentenced a Keller woman to 60 years in prison for the October 2011 death of her husband.
Monday evening, the jury found Michele Williams guilty of both murder and tampering with a firearm.
Prosecutors said she shot her husband, Greg Williams, in the bedroom of their home and then lied about it to investigators and family members.
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The jury sentenced Michele Williams to 60 years on the murder charge and to 10 years on the tampering charge. She will serve the sentences concurrently.
Jurors were in deliberation for about two hours Tuesday to decide Williams’s fate, a day after she was found guilty of the charges.
Williams' defense attorneys said she panicked after her husband committed suicide because she was trying to protect the couple's 4-year-old daughter.
The jury received the case around 10:50 a.m. Monday and requested several pieces of evidence to review several hours into their deliberations.
During closing arguments early Monday, the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office said the evidence, while circumstantial, points in just one direction. That direction is Michele Williams, they said.
"None of this makes sense if you are to believe her suicide story," Sheila Wynn, an assistant district attorney, said to the jury.
Wynn and Assistant District Attorney Jack Strickland said the actions of Williams in the aftermath of her husband's shooting death shows that she was guilty.
They said the physical and scientific evidence also prove that the only person who could have pulled the trigger was Williams.
"She walked into that room and took dead aim at the right side of his head and fired once and killed him," Wynn said. "And that’s the end of the story."
Wynn highlighted how Williams' story kept changing as the investigation and time went on. She first told police an intruder did it, but evidence soon showed there was no forced entry into the home.
"What happened? A green Martian came down and did it?" Wynn said.
Three hours into an interview with police, she said her husband killed himself and she tried to cover it up.
But Strickland, demonstrating to the jury with the murder weapon and a ruler, said that would be impossible for her husband to do.
"How do you do that? How do you get your hand to do that?" Strickland said.
A state witness testified that the muzzle of the gun was six to 24 inches away from Greg Williams' head when he was shot.
The defense countered in its arguments that it was possible and that the state's premise of Michele Williams getting on the bed and shooting her husband was implausible.
The attorneys were critical of the physical evidence and the handling of the investigation.
Cody Cofer also said there was no money-related motive for murder, as the prosecution had suggested.
"She's not a career criminal, ladies and gentlemen," said Clay Graham. "This is not something she had time to think about. She panicked."
In the end, the defense attorneys argued for a not-guilty verdict on the murder charge, nearly conceding that she had indeed tampered with evidence.
"The worst thing our system can do is convict an innocent person," Cofer said. "That’s a decision you’ll have to live with for the rest of your lives."
But the district attorney's office said it was clear if they made the decision, they would be in the right.
"The blunt truth here folks is that this woman is a coldblooded killer," Strickland said.
The prosecution presented evidence Tuesday that Williams removed her ankle monitor while she was free on bond and went on a vacation. There was also evidence that she lied to the court about being pregnant with twins, which investigators found out was false.
The defense asked for mercy from the jurors Tuesday. But the prosecution argued she didn't deserve it for not only killing her husband, but also for having a reputation for deceiving the court and the people who trusted her.
Williams will have to serve 30 years before she is eligible for parole.
Her attorneys say they plan to file an appeal.