In a shocking twist, a Keller woman who had previously reached a plea deal with Tarrant County in the death of her husband no longer says she’s guilty. Michele Williams was expected to begin a 20-year prison sentence on February 10 after a perfunctory hearing in front of State District Judge Scott Wisch.
Instead, assistant district attorney Jack Strickland called her to the stand and began to question her about the case. After about 30 minutes of strained testimony admitting her guilt, Michele changed course.
“I’m not guilty, and I can’t sit here and answer the questions the way you want me to,” she said under oath.
“Lady Justice may very well be blind, but she’s neither deaf nor dumb,” Judge Scott Wisch said.
A flabbergasted Wisch had no choice but to accept the new plea of not guilty and order a jury trial. The judge said he would recuse himself from the murder case, which could take years to go to trial.
“I’m now a witness to the numerous contradicting statements you’ve made in this case,” Wisch said, adding that he would not stand anyone “playing games” with the justice system.
“Lady Justice may very well be blind, but she’s neither deaf nor dumb,” he said.
In 2012, Michele Williams was indicted for the murder of Greg Williams, who was shot and killed while lying in bed at the couple’s lavish Keller home in 2011. Michele reached a plea deal with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office in October 2013 on lesser charges.
In exchange for a 20-year sentence, she pleaded guilty to deadly conduct and tampering with evidence. At the time of the plea deal, 44-year-old Michele told the DA’s office that she was pregnant with twins.
The DA agreed to suspend her sentence until April 2014, after she would have allegedly given birth. However, at a January 30 status hearing, Michele admitted to Judge Scott Wisch that she was not pregnant.
Her attorney, Kenneth Wincorn, says Michele miscarried around Christmas, though there’s now doubt that she was ever pregnant at all.
"I have no knowledge as to whether Michele Williams' assertion of pregnancy was in fact true," Strickland said. "I don't know if the medical evidence presented to the state was accurate."
Michele’s case has been marked by elaborate lies and confusing statements to police. She first said an intruder, who hit her in the face and knocked her unconscious, killed her husband. Security cameras in the gated community showed no one besides a newspaper delivery person entering or exiting the neighborhood at the time of the murder, and police K-9 units failed to pick up any trace of an intruder on the Williams’ property.
After hours of police interrogating Michele about the alleged intruder, she changed her story to say that Greg had committed suicide. Michele admitted to wiping down the crime scene — including her dead husband’s body — with bleach. The elaborate clean-up and cover story about an intruder was to spare the couple’s young daughter from ever knowing her father had killed himself, Michele said.
In throwing out the plea deal, Judge Wisch said he would grant Michele's attorney's request to be removed from the case, and the entire case would begin anew.
"I'm reinstating the entire indictment," he said.
Catch up on the entire Michele Williams saga with CultureMap's exclusive, in-depth reporting on the case.