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Ronnie Keith WILLIAMS





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Rape
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: 1984 / 1993
Date of birth: June 19, 1962
Victims profile: Gaynel Jeffrey, 21 /  Lisashantill Dyke, 18 (seven months pregnant)
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Broward County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to 17 years in prison for second-degree + seven years for child molesting in 1984. Paroled in 1992. Sentenced to death on April 15, 2004

Supreme Court of Florida


opinion SC04-857


DC Number: 645118

Hair Color: BLACK
Eye Color: BROWN
Height: 5′02”
Weight: 133 lbs.

Birth Date: 06/19/1962

Initial Receipt Date: 04/23/2004
Current Facility: UNION C.I.
Current Custody: MAXIMUM
Current Release Date: DEATH SENTENCE

  • 17th Judicial Circuit, Broward County Case # 93-3005CF10A

  • Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Sheldon Schapiro

  • Attorney, Trial: Bruce D. Raticoff – Asst. Public Defender

  • Attorney, Direct Appeal: Jeffrey L. Anderson – Asst. Public Defender

  • Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Roseanne Eckert – CCRC-South

  • Date of Offense: 01/26/93

  • Date of Sentence: 04/16/04

Circumstances of Offense:

Ronnie Keith Williams was found guilty of the 1993 stabbing of Lisa Dyke, which resulted in her death 19 days later.

On 01/25/93, Ronnie Williams and his girlfriend’s sister, Ruth Lawrence, had a disagreement at the apartment Ruth lived in with her son David and the victim, Lisa Dyke. After the fight, Stephanie Lawrence, Williams’ girlfriend, told Williams he was no longer welcome at either her or her sister’s home.

On 01/26/93, 911 operator Ilona Gerdner received an emergency call at approximately 8:30 a.m. from a distressed female caller who identified herself as Lisa Dyke. Gardner testified that the caller was begging for help because she had been stabbed. When she asked the victim who had stabbed her, Dyke’s response was a name that Gardner said sounded like “Rodney,” but she later identified the name as “Ronnie” when the tape was played back for her. Gardner dispatched Officers Gillespie and Costello who arrived within one minute at the apartment Dyke shared with Ruth and David.

When the officers knocked, Dyke answered the door nude and bleeding from numerous wounds. The victim was more than seven months pregnant at the time of the attack. As paramedics treated her, Officer Gillespie questioned the victim as to who had assaulted her. Through the oxygen mask Dyke was wearing, Gillespie heard Dyke’s response as “Rodney.” When asked to clarify, Dyke answered “Ruth’s sister’s boyfriend” and gave him the telephone number of “Ruth’s sister.” Dyke also asserted that he had raped her, though hospital personnel were unable to perform a rape examination or collect evidentiary samples before she was rushed into surgery.

While processing the crime scene, Detective Cerat noticed no sign of forced entry but observed blood on the floor, dust ruffle, door, bedroom door (which contained a finger print), and found a bloodied knife found beside the victim’s bed. After Dyke was taken to the hospital, Cerat collected bloody clothing, lifted six prints from the crime scene, and sent them to the lab for identification.

At the hospital, Officer Jones showed Dyke a photo lineup and asked her if she could identify one of the persons in the lineup as her assailant. Dyke identified Ronnie K. Williams. Two days later, Jones photographed bite marks found on the victim’s body and these marks were compared with dental imprints taken from Williams. Forensic dentist Richard Souviron identified the photographs of the bite marks as matching those taken from Williams’ dental imprints.

Fingerprint analyst Fred Boy testified that a fingerprint found in a red substance located on the bathroom door of Ruth’s apartment matched Williams’ left ring finger. DNA testing on blood samples taken from clothing in the apartment revealed a match to Williams’ DNA profile at four genetic locations. The frequency of finding the same profile in two unrelated individuals matching at these four points would be 1 in 120 million African-Americans.

The medical examiner noted that Lisa Dyke had been stabbed seven times, six of which were between one-quarter of an inch and one-half inch deep. The seventh stab wound was approximately four inches deep and had punctured her left lung. Lisa Dyke’s official cause of death on 02/14/93 was deemed to be multiple stab wounds that produced a fatally high level of toxicity in her body.


After three trials, man gets death sentence in stabbing death of pregnant teen

By Lisa J. Huriash - South Florida Sun-Sentinel

April 17 2004

Fresh out of prison for killing a young woman, Ronnie Keith Williams bit into the body of his second victim -- this time a teenager -- and stabbed her repeatedly in the chest and back with a 15-inch knife in a drunken rampage. Late Friday afternoon, Williams was sentenced to die for that 1993 murder of the pregnant teen.

Soon after Broward Circuit Judge Sheldon Schapiro announced the sentence, the murder victim's mother, Margaret Dyke, cried from relief when told about the ruling. While unable to attend the hearing, she said she hears her daughter telling her, "`Now mommy, you can live. Now you can go on with your life. Now you don't have to worry if you're going to get justice or not. I knew all the time God was going to give you justice.'"

The caretaker of her daughter's crippled son Julius, who was delivered just before she died, Dyke added, "You know what it is to go through something like this for 11 long years? It's definitely not easy ... Nobody deserves to die like that."

Williams smirked as he was led away in shackles after the judge's ruling. His defense attorney, Hale Schantz, said he would appeal.

Lisashantill "Lisa" Dyke, 18, was in the Wilton Manors apartment of her friend that January morning. While she was making toast, Williams came to the apartment, apparently looking for his girlfriend -- who had broken up with him the night before -- or her sister. He stabbed Lisa Dyke, penetrating her lungs and four inches into her sternum. She identified Williams to a 911 operator and again on her hospital deathbed by pointing him out in a photo lineup.

DNA testing placed Williams' blood and his bloody fingerprint at the crime scene, and bite marks on Dyke's body appear to match Williams' teeth, according to a forensic dentist. Williams told police when he was arrested that the cuts on his hand were from washing dishes.

A jury convicted him in 1996 of Dyke's murder and voted 11-1 to recommend death. But that conviction was overturned because a juror had an emotional collapse during deliberations and was replaced by another juror. An appeals court ruled in 2001 that the judge should have declared a mistrial.

Williams' second trial, in December, ended in a mistrial after a prosecutor accidentally read a statement to a witness that could have led jurors to realize Williams had been tried before.

In February a new Broward jury deliberated only a few hours before finding Williams guilty of first-degree murder under two theories: premeditated and felony murder. That meant the jury rejected his defense that he was too drunk and high on drugs to have planned the attack.

It also meant the jury believed Dyke's statement to police that she had been raped -- even though no medical tests were done to prove her claim because she was rushed into surgery in an effort to save her life.

The same jury last month deliberated only 15 minutes before recommending in a 10-2 vote that Williams receive the death penalty.

One of the jurors, Sandy Troehler, of Davie, came to Friday's hearing, sitting in the front row so she could "follow it through."

"This is definitely justice," she said. "I don't want anybody like that out on the street. I don't want him near my grandchildren."

Prosecutor Deborah Zimet said the death sentence was warranted so that there would "not be a third grieving mother."

Williams pleaded no contest in 1982 to a charge of indecent assault on a child after police said he raped a 9-year-old girl with his finger.

And in late 1984, he went to the house of Robin Jeffrey, a young girl who had broken off a relationship with him after she learned about the pending rape charge, and killed her sister.

He stabbed Gaynel Jeffrey, 21, in the back and chest. He dragged the body from room to room, then stuffed her in her mother's car and drove to a construction site where he dumped her. For both the rape and murder, he was sentenced to 17 years but served only seven because of prison crowding. He killed Dyke eight months after his release.

Before his final ruling, Schapiro pointed out that just before both murders, Williams had broken up with a young woman. To punish each of them, he tried to kill their relatives. In the case of Lisa Dyke, he had been there to kill her roommate but found her there instead.

The murders were "unnecessarily torturous," and "Lisa Dyke suffered extreme mental anguish" and she was "forced to choke on her own blood and vomit," Schapiro said.

Schapiro said he didn't find a "nexus" between Williams' deprived childhood, which included being beaten up by school kids, "and the vicious, brutal murder of Lisa Dyke."

Jeffrey's family was in court, wiping tears from their faces. They said they felt the death sentence was vindication for Gaynel, as well.

"Put him in the chair because he's a monster," cried Robin Jeffrey, Gaynel's sister. "I want to be at peace ... This is over. It's the way it's supposed to be."



MO: Pedophile lust killer.

DISPOSITION: 17 years for second-degree + seven years for child molesting, 1984 (paroled, 1992); condemned, 1996.


Ronnie Keith Williams



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