Jury finds Williams guilty in officer's murder - FOX 13 News

Jury finds Williams guilty in officer's murder

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BARTOW (FOX 13) -

A jury has found Kyle Williams guilty of first-degree murder, FOX 13's Ken Suarez reports.

The verdict came after two days of deliberations.

Moments after the verdict was read, Williams reacted by shaking his head slowly.

Williams shot Lakeland Police Officer Arnulfo Crispin while he was doing a patdown three years ago. Williams was convicted of first-degree murder.

Just moments after the verdict was read, a spokesman for the Crispin's family commented.

"We're still in the moment, but we are obviously very pleased with the result," said Frankie Crispin, the officer's brother. "We are filled with emotion."

The state is going for the death penalty; Crispin's family agrees.

William's family left the courthouse without making a comment. However, his attorney said the system worked.

"These people took a long time to seriously consider the evidence," said defense attorney Byron Hileman. "I think the jury did their job, regardless of the results."

Before they began deliberations, jurors heard closing arguments in which both the state and the defense made their final points.

Assistant State Attorney Paul Wallace told jurors that Crispin's murder was premeditated, that he had time to consider his actions, and shot the officer anyway.

"He pulled the trigger without hesitation," Wallace said.

The defense told jurors the state has the wrong man. Defense attorney Chris Boldt said four young men who were at the murder scene were all gang members and friends who concocted a story about Williams to protect one of their own.

In an unusual move the defendant, Williams, asked the judge if he could testify on his own behalf. The judge said no at this point in the proceedings, and reminded Williams that the day before he told the court he did not want to take the stand.

The penalty phase of the trial starts next week.


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