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.