Convicted and sentenced to ten years in prison for the murder of a Nashville prostitute, Laron Williams escaped from the Memphis Correctional Center in April 1981.
Before his arrest on May 17, Williams shot and killed Memphis police lieutenant Clarence Cox, moving on to murder a Catholic priest, Rev. John Jackson, in Jackson, Tennessee.
Unarmed when officers surrounded him in a coffee shop next to his motel, Williams was returned to prison pending trial on new charges of first-degree murder.
He was convicted on both counts, receiving twin death sentences, but the ultimate execution was carried out in a rather unorthodox fashion.
Mobbed by a gang of eight fellow inmates on July 7, 1985, Williams was beaten to death in the exercise yard of the Tennessee state prison at Nashville.
Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia
of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans
Escapee Sought for the Slaying of
Memphis Officer is Captured
The New York Times
May 18, 1981
An escaped convict wanted for
the slaying of a police officer in Memphis and
suspected in the killing of a Roman Catholic
priest here was arrested early today, the police
The suspect, 32-year-old
Laron Ronald Williams, escaped from the Memphis
Correctional Center last month where he was
serving a 10-year sentence for the murder of a
He was arrested at a
restaurant next to a motel where he was staying.
The police said he was not armed.
Mr. Williams was questioned
in the slaying of the Rev. John Jay Jackson, 35,
the assistant pastor of St. Mary's Roman
Catholic Church in Jackson and in the death by
shooting of Lieut. Clarence P. Cox of the
Police Chief Ed Alderson of
Jackson said that Mr. Williams was charged with
first-degree murder in the killing of Lieutenant
Cox. Memphis officials refused comment on the
legal status of a warrant against Mr. Williams.
SEX: M RACE: B TYPE: N MOTIVE:
MO: Killed a prostitute; murdered
priest and policeman while a fugitive from prison on that charge.
DISPOSITION: 10 years for first
count (escaped Apr. 1981); condemned on two counts, 1981; fatally beaten
by other inmates, July 7, 1985.
SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE, AT NASHVILLE
August 29, 1983
STATE OF TENNESSEE, APPELLEE,
LARON RONALD WILLIAMS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT
MAURY CRIMINAL; Hon. James L. Weatherford, Judge
Rehearing Denied October 3, 1983
Drowota, J. wrote the opinion. Concur: Fones, C.j. Harbison, J.
Russell, Special Justice. Brock, J., concurs in part and Dissents in
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Drowota
The Defendant, Laron Ronald Williams, appeals his conviction of
first degree murder, for which he was sentenced to death, and his
conviction of first degree burglary, for which he was sentenced to no
less than ten nor more than fifteen years in the state penitentiary. He
presents to this Court several issues for review, all of which we have
carefully studied and found to be without merit.
Since the Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence for
his convictions, we summarize the evidence presented at trial. On Friday,
May 15, 1981, at about 8:20 a.m.,
Father John Jay Jackson was found dead inside the rectory of St. Mary's
Catholic Church in Jackson, Tennessee. The pockets of his clothing were
pulled out, and coins were scattered on the floor of the den and in the
hallway. A sliding glass door which opened onto a screened-in porch had
been shattered; and scattered papers and an overturned potted plant on a
coffee table indicated there had been a struggle. In addition, the
drawers of a desk located in the bedroom area of the rectory had been
pulled out and thrown on top of the desk with their contents in disarray.
Outside, the footprints of someone wearing tennis shoes led from the
rectory to a nearby dumpster, then across the Highway 45 Bypass to a
building called Watkins Tower.
The pathologist and medical examiner testified that Father Jackson
died between 8:00 and 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 14. The autopsy
revealed he died as a result of a gunshot wound to the back of the right
shoulder. There was a second, nonfatal gunshot wound in the left
shoulder. Scrapes on the body indicated the priest had struggled with
his assailant, and lacerations on the priest's head were consistent with
blows from a blunt instrument such as a gun.
On Thursday night, May 14, Father Jackson ate dinner with the Timby
family and left between 8:00 and 8:10 p.m. It takes approximately three
minutes to walk from the Timby residence to the rectory. Ed Bendoski, a
resident of St. Mary's Manor, a home for retired persons located next to
the rectory, testified that at 8:22 p.m. on the evening of May 14, he
and his wife looked outside the window of an eighth floor lounge at the
manor, which faces the Highway 45 Bypass. He saw a car parked in the
southwest corner of the parking lot of Watkins Tower across the highway
from the Manor. Noting that it was unusual to see a car parked in that
area after business hours, Bendoski and his wife proceeded to their
apartment located on the eighth floor of the manor. At approximately
8:24 p.m., while looking from a window in the hallway of the eighth
floor, Bendoski saw a tall black man approach the dumpster located on
the ground. This man lifted up both of the lids to the dumpster, took a
box out of the dumpster, reached under his belt or shirt and then placed
something into the box. Then he walked "in a big hurry" toward the
bypass. Police later found a cardboard box containing two coins just off
the corner of the Watkins Tower parking lot, across the Bypass from St.
Bendoski testified that at the time he saw the man at the dumpster,
it was dusk. However, the area surrounding St. Mary's Manor, from the
dumpster to the highway, is well lighted and was illuminated at the time
he saw the man. As Bendoski stood 50 to 55 feet from the ground and the
dumpster was 50 to 60 feet from the building, he observed the man at the
dumpster at an angle. The man wore a cap with a bill, a jacket, and dark
pants and shoes. His hair was long. At trial, Bendoski positively
identified the Defendant as the man he had seen.
On cross-examination, Bendoski testified he watched the man for
approximately four or five minutes. During that period of time, he saw
the Defendant's face from the side on two or three occasions, some seven
to eight seconds each time. When the Defendant walked around the
dumpster, Bendoski was able to see the Defendant's face from the front.
Bendoski told an investigator that he could identify the man he saw at
the dumpster, but apparently this information didn't register with the
investigator for the police never made an attempt to ascertain whether
he could identify the Defendant or anyone else from photographs or a
On Friday evening, May 15, the Defendant sold a .38 Smith & Wesson
revolver to Evan Chapman, owner of Chat's market and Cafe, in Jackson.
Chapman testified the Defendant was wearing blue jeans, a short jacket,
tennis shoes, and a little hat. The Defendant indicated he acquired the
pistol as a security guard in California and that he wanted to sell it
because he needed the money. He asked for sixty to seventy dollars for
the gun, which was worth between two and three hundred dollars on the
open market. Chapman gave the Defendant only half the amount he asked
for, pending a police check of the gun. In addition to selling Chapman
the unloaded gun, the Defendant gave him four rounds of ammunition. When
the check revealed that the gun was one missing from the Memphis Police
police had Chapman identify the man who sold him the gun from six
photographs. On the morning of May 17, the police arrested the Defendant,
who was wearing a jacket, pants and tennis shoes.
Ballistics tests revealed that the bullets taken from the fatal
wound and from the wall in the rectory had been fired from the revolver
sold to Chapman. Hairs taken from the Defendant's jacket were
indistinguishable from Father Jackson's hair.
hairs recovered from the Defendant's jacket had been forcibly removed.
None of the fingerprints found inside the rectory, however, matched the
Defendant's fingerprints. Investigators did discover impressions which
appeared to have been made by gloved fingers on several pieces of the
glass from the broken sliding door and on the door itself. None of the
shoeprints found by the police matched the Defendant's tennis shoes. The
police were unable to locate the tennis shoes which they believed made
The Defendant presented alibi witnesses. Howard Williams testified
he and the Defendant were together on Thursday May 14, from 6:00 to
10:30 p.m. They played pool, drank and danced at the Carousel Club and
Chat's Place. An employee of Chat's Place remembered the Defendant being
there between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m., or perhaps a little later, because a
dispute arose between the Defendant and another person over a pool game.
At trial, the state read a statement by the Defendant denying any
knowledge of the crime or the gun and telling of his activities on May
14. The Defendant's statement to the police was inconsistent with his
witnesses' alibi testimony. In the statement, the Defendant said he was
with a guy called "Hambone" most of that night. The Defendant did not
Roderick Elmore, an inmate of the Shelby County Jail awaiting trial
on a charge of armed robbery, came into contact with the Defendant when
they were both incarcerated in June of 1981. At that time, Elmore
overheard portions of a conversation between the Defendant and an
unnamed individual. During the course of this conversation, the
Defendant stated he had been driven to Jackson by his girlfriend. The
Defendant also stated he was on the grounds of the rectory and that he
had sold a pistol to someone in Jackson. Elmore, who could not hear the
entire conversation, did not hear the Defendant say what time he was at
the rectory, whether anything happened to him at the rectory, whether he
came into contact with anyone at the rectory or whether he obtained
anything of value while he was at the rectory. Elmore testified he made
no deals with the prosecution in Memphis or in Jackson in exchange for
his testimony at the instant trial. Though he could not see the
Defendant as he spoke, Elmore was positive the voice was the Defendant's.
The only proof introduced at the sentencing hearing was two
certified copies of Defendant's convictions for first degree murder in
Shelby County and second degree murder in Davidson County. These
documents were stipulated to by the State and defense counsel.
The Defendant's first four issues concern whether there is
sufficient proof to sustain his convictions. The principles which govern
our review of a conviction by jury are settled. A jury verdict approved
by the trial Judge accredits the testimony of the witnesses for the
State and resolves all conflicts in favor of the State's theory. State
560 S.W.2d 627 (Tenn. 1978); State v.
525 S.W.2d 842 (Tenn. 1975). On appeal, the
State is entitled to the strongest legitimate view of the evidence and
all reasonable or legitimate inferences which may be drawn therefrom.
State v. Cabbage,
571 S.W.2d 832 (Tenn. 1978). A verdict
against the Defendant removes the presumption of innocence and raises a
presumption of guilt on appeal, State v. Grace,
493 S.W.2d 474 (Tenn. 1973), which the
Defendant has the burden of overcoming. State v. Brown,
551 S.W.2d 329 (Tenn. 1977).
Where the sufficiency of the evidence is challenged, the relevant
question for an appellate court is whether, after viewing the evidence
in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of
fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a
reasonable doubt. Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307,
99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560 (1979); Rule
13(e), T.R.A.P. Moreover, a conviction may be based entirely on
circumstantial evidence where the facts are "so clearly interwoven and
connected that the finger of guilt is pointed unerringly at the
defendant and the defendant alone." State v. Crawford,
225 Tenn. 478, 484,
470 S.W.2d 610, 612 (1971).
To support his argument, Defendant points to several seemingly loose
ends in the proof presented at trial. First, he directs our attention to
the State's theory that the footprints outside the rectory were made by
the victim's killer. But these prints did not match the soles of the
Defendant's shoes. Second, the pistol used in the homicide did not have
the Defendant's fingerprints on it. Third, the ballistics report on the
bullets fired from the gun which the Defendant sold to Evans Chapman was
not perfect. While the bullets matched those retrieved from the victim's
body and from the room in which the body was found on many points, there
were other points that did not match. Fourth, he points to the testimony
of FBI agent Malone, who examined and compared hair samples taken from
the victim and from the clothing of the Defendant. Malone testified the
hairs were indistinguishable and that they were probably from a common
source, but that this sort of analysis did not constitute a basis for
positive personal identification. Fifth, he attacks Ed Bendoski's
testimony as "unbelievable." Sixth, he contends that according to the
witnesses, the Defendant was not at the rectory at St. Mary's Church at
the time of the murder.
Mindful of these seemingly loose ends, we nevertheless remind the
Defendant our review must be limited to whether a rational fact finder
could find him guilty of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. There is
no requirement that the State's proof be uncontroverted or perfect. For
the most part, the Defendant's attacks bear on the weight of the
evidence. For example, whether Bendoski's testimony is believable or not,
and whether it "smacks of an overzealous desire to assist the State in
punishing someone for the death of Father John J. Jackson" are not
questions for an appellate court. The jury's province being precisely
that of determining a witness's credibility, we may not substitute our
judgment on appeal for the jury's judgment. Bendoski testified he saw
the Defendant at the dumpster near the retirement home, and the jury
believed him. Likewise, agent Malone's opinion regarding the hair
samples was for the jury to ponder, weigh, discard or accept. We may
assume they chose the last. As regards the absence of the Defendant's
fingerprints on the gun or at the scene of the crime, Sgt. Gary Randy
Winbush's testimony that glove prints were found would offer an
explanation. And though there were witnesses who testified the
Defendant's whereabouts were other than the St. Mary's rectory at the
time of the homicide, there was one witness who testified he saw the
Defendant outside the rectory, and another, Elmore, who testified he
overheard the Defendant admit to being at St. Mary's rectory. The jury
chose not to believe the alibi witnesses.
A witness who placed the Defendant at the scene of the crime shortly
after the homicide, an admission by the Defendant that he was on the
premises, the forcefully removed hair of the priest found on the
Defendant's clothes, the Defendant's sale of the murder weapon to Evan
Chapman the day after the murder, the inconsistent accounts of the
Defendant's alibi witnesses and his own account of his whereabouts,
Bendoski and Chapman's descriptions of the black man wearing a jacket
and a little billed hat - considering all this in the light most
favorable to the State, we are convinced a rational jury could find the
Defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Defendant argues the trial court should have stricken Bendoski's
testimony because the State failed to comply with his discovery motion "to
state specifically... any eyewitnesses of which the State has knowledge
and who allegedly witnessed the crime." Prior to trial the State had
made the Defendant aware of Bendoski's role as a witness and of the
substance of his testimony. Bendoski's name and address appear on the
State was not aware Bendoski could identify the Defendant until Bendoski
saw the Defendant through the glass of the court room door during the
trial. The State provided the Defendant with a copy of a police report
wherein Bendoski's statement was recorded in narrative form. The
evidence shows the State provided the Defendant with an much information
as it had before trial. Moreover, Bendoski was not an eyewitness to the
crime.Cf. Pannell v. Sovereign Camp, W.O.W.,
171 Tenn. 255,
102 S.W.2d 50 (1937). He only saw the
Defendant at the dumpster after the crime had been committed. And so the
State's response to the Defendant's discovery motion, stating "he State
has no knowledge of eyewitnesses to this murder," was a proper and
correct response. The Defendant was not unfairly surprised by Bendoski's
The Defendant contends his Sixth Amendment right to the effective
assistance of counsel was abridged by the trial court's denying his
motion for funds to secure the assistance of an expert in the field of
hair analysis. The United States Supreme Court, in United States ex rel.
Smith v. Baldi, 344 U.S. 561,
73 S.Ct. 391, 97 L.Ed. 549 (1953), held
that a state is under no federal constitutional obligation to provide
expert pre-trial assistance to an indigent defendant. The defendant, in
Baldi, requested that the trial court appoint him a psychiatrist for a
pre-trial examination. In upholding the trial court's refusal
do so, the Court stated, "Psychiatrists testified. That suffices." 344
U.S. at 568.
We have held this state's constitution preserves no such right.
Graham v. State,
547 S.W.2d 531 (Tenn. 1977). The Defendant
points to, and our research turns up, no statute which would grant an
indigent criminal defendant a right to this assistance. Although the
Defendant "urge this Court to adopt a rule of law allowing an indigent
defendant funds for expert assistance," we decline to do so. "Essentially
this is a matter that addresses itself to the judgment and discretion of
the legislature. Thus far it has not seen fit to provide such services
to indigent defendants." Graham, 547 S.W.2d at 536.
As his seventh issue for review, the Defendant argues the trial
court erred in declaring Sgt. Gary Randy Winbush an expert in the field
of fingerprint analysis. We find no error in the ruling. The
qualification of an expert witness is a matter within the sound
discretion of the trial court, and a decision on the matter will not be
reversed on appeal absent a clear abuse of such discretion. Murray v.
214 Tenn. 51,
377 S.W.2d 918 (1964). Winbush was
graduated from Jackson State Junior College. He was also a graduate of
the Institute of Applied Science (a one-year correspondence course), the
Advanced Latent Fingerprint School, taught by the FBI (a three-week
course), and the TBI Law Enforcement Academy's Fingerprint School,
taught by the FBI (a two-week course). He has attended various seminars
organized by law enforcement agencies specializing in the area of
fingerprint analysis, and has worked as a fingerprint examiner for more
than six years. It is unclear to us what more experience the Defendant
would require. Quite frankly, we are at a loss as to the importance of
this issue, since Winbush testified the Defendant's fingerprints were
found in no relevant places.
Upon the Defendant's arrest on Sunday May 17, 1981, he was taken
immediately to the City Police Station in Jackson, Tennessee, where he
was read his rights guaranteed by the federal constitution and
acknowledged in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). He waived his
rights and was interviewed by officer Holt of the department. This
interview was taped and later transcribed. The Defendant's handwritten
signature does not appear on the transcription. A signed waiver and a
transcript of the interview were admitted into evidence over the
Defendant's objection that the statement did not bear the Defendant's
signature, that it was irrelevant, and that there was no proof the tape
and the transcript were what they purported to be.
The Defendant presented alibi witnesses to account for his
whereabouts after his arrival in Jackson around May 12th. The part of
the transcript in which the Defendant tells the interviewing officer of
his movements about the city after coming to Jackson was read in open
court as evidence for the State's case. The use of the statement in this
case was for the purpose of showing the inconsistency between the
Defendant's statement and the statements of the alibi witnesses. There
was no error in admitting the statement. Although there is some
limitation on the Defendant's placing his own statement into evidence,
such statements being self-serving and lacking any guarantee of
testimonial trustworthiness, Hall v. State,
552 S.W.2d 417 (Tenn. Cr. App. 1977), there
is no similar limitation on the State's offering a defendant's
declaration which was freely given. Johnson v. State,
598 S.W.2d 803 (Tenn. Cr. App. 1979). And
it is because the Defendant's statement was freely given, with full
knowledge of his right to an attorney and his right to remain silent,
that there is no violation of his Fifth Amendment privilege against self
The defendant contends the trial court erred in denying his motion
in limine to exclude the expert testimony of FBI agent Malone concerning
his finding after analyzing the hair samples given him. Defense counsel
objected to the admission of this testimony on the grounds that the
prejudicial impact of this testimony outweighed the probative value in
violation of due process, and that the testimony of the agent
necessarily constituted speculation. The Defendant cites United States
v. Brady, 595 F.2d 359 (6th Cir. 1979), and United States v. Brown, 557
F.2d 541 (6th Cir. 1977), in support of his contention. These cases set
forth a four-prong test for determining the admissibility of expert
testimony. Brady and Brown require that the witness be an expert, that
the subject matter of the witness's testimony be proper, that the
subject matter of the witness's testimony conform to a generally
accepted explanatory theory, and that the probative value of the
witness's testimony outweigh its prejudicial effect. The Defendant
argues the last two tests are not met.
We agree with the State that the testimony under attack here was
highly probative to establish the fact of the Defendant's identity as
the perpetrator of the crime. And although Malone testified that hair
analysis does not provide a positive personal identification, such as
fingerprint analysis, he testified it would be highly unlikely that the
hair from any two persons will exhibit the same characteristics. However,
if the hair from two individuals matches, it would also be highly
unlikely that both individuals would be in a position to deposit their
hair in the same place. It was for the jury to give the testimony as
much weight as it thought the testimony merited. The Defendant's
argument stresses the unreliability of the hair analysis tests. Yet, in
State v. Melson,
638 S.W.2d 342 (Tenn. 1982), we considered
the reliability of this test and found it satisfied the criteria of
Brady and Brown.
The Defendant maintains two errors were committed during the
sentencing phase of his trial. During closing arguments, Mr. Hymers,
counsel for the State, argued, in part, as follows:
The Court has instructed that we are considering paragraphs two and
seven [of T.C.A. 39-2-203(i)].... As to paragraph Two, the Defendant was
previously convicted of one or more felonies other than the present
charge which involved the use of threat or violence to the person.
Now, Exhibit No. , has to do with the Davidson County case, and
that reflects that a plea of guilty was entered on January 4, 1979, to
Second Degree Murder charged in which it was charged that Tera L. Wedlaw
had been murdered. The Defendant pled guilty and a sentence of ten years
was given. Exhibit No. 2, has to do with a murder conviction in the
first degree in which the death penalty was inflicted, and that has to
do with the judgment that was rendered on 11-6-81, in Shelby County, at
Memphis, Tennessee, and it charged Laron Ronald Williams with murdering
a police officer in the line of duty in that county.
Mr. Woodall, co-counsel for the State, argued, in part, as follows:
[The Defendant] spent five minutes deliberately, and with malice
aforethought striking down Father John J. Jackson in the rectory house;
and on November 6th, 1981, was found guilty for the deliberate,
premeditated murder of Lt. Edward Cox of the Memphis Police Department
when he took a gun and blew his brains out, and prior to that he was
found guilty in Davidson County, Tennessee, of the murder of a young
There was no objection made at any point during the State's
arguments. There was no objection made at the close of the arguments.
The first objection made about the impropriety of the State's
arguments is made before this Court. Here, the Defendant objects to the
state's mentioning the prior death sentence and to Mr. Woodall's phrase
"blew his brains out." As there is no evidence in the record about the
details of the killing of officer Cox, Mr. Woodall's comment was
improper. See Russell v. State,
532 S.W.2d 268 (Tenn. 1976). This error
does not require a reversal of the Defendant's sentence, however, as he
has shown no resulting prejudice. In a consideration of whether improper
conduct on the part of the State requires reversal, a court may look to
several factors, such as the effect of curative measures taken by the
trial court, the intent of the prosecution, the cumulative effect of the
improper conduct and any other errors in the record, and the relative
strength of the case. See Judge v. State,
539 S.W.2d 340 (Tenn. Cr. App. 1976).Our
review of the State's arguments convinces us that counsel were otherwise
careful in their choice of words, considering the facts of this case are
lamentable. The comment was isolated and Mr. Woodall's argument and Mr.
Hymer's argument were in all other respects temperate.
As regards Mr. Hymers' comment about the Defendant's prior death
sentence, we reach the same result. The State's counsel argued only from
the evidence admitted at trial. The Defendant stipulated to his past
murder convictions and the sentences imposed for those convictions. If
the Defendant objected to this information being commented upon, he
should not have agreed to the sentences being made a part of the record.
We wish to point out, however, that the fact of a pending prior death
sentence should not be admitted as evidence except by agreement.
The fact of the prior murder convictions coupled with the present
first degree murder conviction is statutorily sufficient to support a
sentence of death. On review, it is not for this Court to speculate
about the thought processes of the jury. We review the evidence and the
statutory requirements and insure that the jury has been instructed
properly on the law. The essence of the Defendant's argument is that
even in the face of the past murder convictions, there is some chance,
however slim, that the jury might have given him life had it not known
of his past sentence of death. But such an argument ignores the new
death statute's goal of eliminating capriciousness in the deliberating
process. While the jury has the responsibility of determining the
sentence, its decision is guided by the statute. It is only after
finding at least one of the aggravating circumstances that the death
penalty may be given. In the present case the Defendant presented no
evidence of mitigating circumstances, and the aggravating circumstances
The Defendant challenges the constitutionality of the death penalty
statute on several grounds. All the arguments, however, have been
reviewed by this Court in past decisions, and there is no merit to them.
The death penalty statute is constitutional.Houston v. State,
593 S.W.2d 267 (Tenn. 1980), cert. denied,
449 U.S. 891,
101 S.Ct. 251, 66 L.Ed.2d 117 (1980). State
621 S.W.2d 127 (Tenn. 1981); State v.
Melson, 638 S.W.2d 342 (Tenn. 1982); State v. Simon,
635 S.W.2d 498 (Tenn. 1982).
The Defendant's convictions of first degree murder and first degree
burglary are affirmed. The sentence of not less than ten nor more than
fifteen years in the state penitentiary for burglary and the sentence of
death for murder in the first degree are affirmed. The date of execution
is fixed for November 29, 1980, unless stayed or otherwise ordered by
this Court or other proper authority. Costs are assessed to the
Russell, Special Justice.
Brock, J., concurs in part and Dissents in part.
Brock, Justice, Concurring in part and Dissenting in part. For the
reasons stated in my Dissent in State v. Dicks, Tenn.,
615 S.W.2d 126 (1981), I would hold that
the death penalty is unconstitutional; but, I concur in all other
When Father Jackson had not appeared by 8:20 to celebrate a 8:10 a.m.
Mass, the parish bookkeeper unlocked the back door to the rectory and
went inside. He found the priest lying on the floor of the den four feet
inside the door.
Gooch of the Memphis Police Department testified that the.38 caliber
revolver belonged to the Memphis Police Department and had been missing
since May 12, 1981.
It was properly kept from the jury in this case that the revolver
belonged to Lt. Cox, who was fatally shot with his own gun by the
Defendant on May 12. State v. Williams, Shelby Criminal. See also
Louise Hawkins, an acquaintance of the Defendant, testified that she
drove the Defendant to Jackson the evening of May 12, and rented a room
for him at the Regency Inn for one week. She returned to Memphis that
Father Jackson's body was exhumed on November 16, 1981, and hair was
taken from the top and sides of the head.
page 44 of Defendant's brief, he acknowledges he had sufficient time to
investigate the witnesses listed in the indictment.
There was some factual question in Baldi about whether the Defendant
properly moved the court for the expert assistance.
Redaction removed references to William's recent escape from a
correctional institution and to the murder of Lt. Cox in Memphis, which
resulted in his conviction of first degree murder in Shelby County.