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Jury gets an earful during punishment phase of Keller black widow murder trial

Jury gets an earful during punishment phase of Michele Williams trial

Jurors’ heads are likely spinning after testimony in the punishment phase of Michele Williams’ murder trial. They will now decide the 45-year-old mother’s fate. 

Michele was found guilty of murder and one count of tampering with evidence on September 29. She faces up to life in prison.

The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office called a parade of internal witnesses to discuss Michele’s behavior while out on bond, including allegations of faking a pregnancy, tampering with her GPS monitor and taking a secret beach vacation with her boyfriend.

 Laura Cusick, Michele Williams’ older sister, was the final witness to take the stand. She said that Michele has a reputation for lying and not obeying the law.

The defense did not put on any witnesses, and Michele once again declined to testify on her own behalf. None of Michele’s prior behavior could be discussed during the guilt-innocence phase of her trial, but the jury is allowed to consider so-called “bad acts” when determining sentencing.

Probation officer Lisa Hunt testified that in October 2013, Michele asked for her GPS monitor to be loosened because she was pregnant and her ankles were going to swell. Someone other than Hunt granted the request.

“Had I been advised, I would have denied the request because I am not going to give them enough room to slip it off,” Hunt said. After the monitor was loosened, Hunt said she noticed an alarming lack of movement.

In December 2013, the monitor was completely at rest for 20 days out of 31. Her boyfriend, Gene Wallis, later testified that they went to Matagorda Bay in Galveston on vacation during that time. Upon further examination, Hunt said September through January showed similar patterns of lack of movement.

Perhaps even more interesting was the revelation that there was no proof of Michele’s alleged high-risk pregnancy with twin boys. She told Wallis, whom she began dating months after Greg’s death, that he was the father.

After reviewing all of the GPS coordinates from August 2013 to January 2014, Hunt did not find a single visit to a doctor’s office.

Danny Nutt, an investigator with the Tarrant County DA’s office, subpoenaed Michele’s medical records but was unable to find any evidence from any source that supports Michele’s claim that she was pregnant with twins.

Judge Scott Wisch, who recused himself from Michele’s case in February after she sabotaged her own plea deal, also testified. He said he took Michele’s word that she was pregnant.

“I don’t recall reviewing specific medical documentation when I was on the case,” Wisch said.

The prosecution also presented evidence that Michele had once been fired from her job at a dental office for suspicion of embezzling funds. 

Laura Cusick, Michele’s older sister, was the final witness to take the stand. She said that Michele has a reputation for lying and not obeying the law.

In closing arguments, prosecutor Sheila Wynn asked the jury to “let the punishment fit the crime, and let the punishment fit the person.” The defense, meanwhile, pleaded for mercy. 

“You’ve appealed to your sense of reason, and now I’m going to ask you to appeal to your sense of mercy,” attorney Clay Graham said. 

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New to the story? Catch up on the Michele Williams case here:

October 31, 2013: The making of the Keller black widow: Did Michele Williams get away with murder?

January 30, 2014: Keller black widow Michele Williams lands back in Tarrant County jail

February 10, 2014: Michele Williams rejects plea deal and opts for murder trial in husband's death

March 6, 2014: Keller black widow Michele Williams worked at strip club while out on bond

May 2, 2014: Peter Van Sant dishes on what made Michele Williams case so intriguing to 48 Hours

May 15, 2014: Accused murderess Michele Williams gets bond revoked amid fears she'd skip town

May 28, 2014: Couple offers to help post bond for accused murderer Michele Williams

May 30, 2014: Keller black widow Michele Williams gets bond raised to $850,000 for husband's murder

July 22, 2014: Family suspects Michele Williams in mysterious death of her brother-in-law

September 22, 2014: Keller black widow Michele Williams goes on trial for her husband's murder

September 23, 2014: Son testifies that Michele Williams tried to frame another woman for husband's murder

September 23, 2014: Prosecutors offer new theory for why Keller black widow Michele Williams murdered her husband

September 24, 2014: Interrogation video shows Michele Williams repeatedly denied husband's suicide

September 25, 2014: Prosecution plays 48 Hours episode during Michele Williams murder trial

September 26, 2014: Michele Williams doesn't testify in her own defense at husband's murder trial

September 29, 2014: Jury begins deliberations in Michele Williams murder trial

September 29, 2014: Jury finds Keller black widow Michele Williams guilty of murdering her husband

Michele Williams mugshot
Michele Williams was indicted for murder in 2012. Photo courtesy of Keller Police Department
The Keller home of Greg and Michele Williams
The Keller home where Greg Williams was killed. Photo courtesy of Keller Police Department
Michele Williams and Greg Williams on their wedding day
Michele and Greg Williams on their wedding day in 2008. Photo courtesy of Keller Police Department
Michele Williams at trial
Michele Williams at her murder trial. Photo by Claire St. Amant