Keller man's death ruled a homicide

Posted Friday, Oct. 14, 2011  comments  Print Reprints

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Keller homicides

Keller police are in investigating whether Thursday's shooting was a homicide, a rare occurrence in the city in recent years.

• In 2010, James Padilla, 26, of New Mexico, pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to seven years in prison in the 2006 shooting deaths of two men in a house in the 100 block of North Main Street.

• In August 2008, Richard Sandlin was sentenced to 40 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to strangling his wife, Donna, on March 26, 2007, in the 1400 block of Briar Meadow Drive.

• In August 2005, Norma Jean Roberts was found guilty of strangling her 11-year-old daughter, Kelsey Roberts. She was sentenced to 80 years in prison. Investigators believe that Roberts smothered her daughter Aug. 5 then carved a hate letter to her husband, Steve, on a dining-room table expressing her anger over their divorce and custody arrangements.

Source: Star-Telegram archives

Audio: Clip of 911 call by Michelle Williams

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KELLER -- First, Michelle Williams said an intruder had shot and killed her husband.

A little while later, she said that her husband, Gregory Williams, had committed suicide and that she lied about what happened to keep her 4-year-old daughter from knowing the truth.

What Keller police know to be true is this: They were called to a home in the 1400 block of Jacob Avenue at 4:40 a.m. Thursday, where officers found Williams, 40, in the master bedroom with a fatal gunshot wound in his right temple.

Police were skeptical of his wife's story from the start. On Friday, Williams' death was ruled a homicide.

Michelle Williams is a "person of interest" in the case, said Lt. Brenda Slovak, a Keller police spokeswoman.

Michelle Williams, who was hysterical during her call to police, first said that a man dressed in black had entered the home through a back door, hit her in the head with a wrench and shot her husband, Slovak said.

The woman had a small mark on her forehead, Slovak said, but a K-9 unit called to the scene did not detect the scent of an intruder.

"There is no indication there was an intruder," Slovak said. "There was no forced entry."

Williams later changed her story and said she staged the break-in and hit herself in the face to cover up the fact that her husband had committed suicide.

Gregory Williams died of a penetrating handgun wound of the head and brain due to being shot by another person, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office said.

Slovak said an arrest was not expected Friday.

She said that testing needs to be done on clothing and hand swabs taken in the case and that investigators are also awaiting toxicology test results.

"There’s a lot of forensic stuff we've got to look at and that takes time,” Slovak said. “Most people don’t understand when we arrest somebody, our case has has to be pretty much done because we’ve only got three days to file charges once that person is in jail."

The Williamses rented the house in the Twin Lakes subdivision, an upscale, gated community of mostly $400,000 homes southwest of the Sky Creek Ranch Golf Club.

Ray Gilley, who lives two houses down from where the shooting occurred, said he provided Keller police with video from cameras around the exterior of his home.

"They asked if they could look at my video to see if they could see any cars had traveled up the street," he said. "We saw one flicker of a headlight that might have been turning around by the house where the incident occurred, but no cars really came up the street."

Gilley said the couple rented the home less than a year ago and "had been trouble right off the bat" and did not socialize with other people in the neighborhood.

"They had some of the craziest all-night parties and they would be in the swimming pool until four in the morning screaming and laughing," he said. "People have kids and they play outside, but nobody has all-night parties."

Gilley said police told him that the crime was not a random home invasion.

"At that time in the morning it would be very unusual that you could tailgate someone in the neighborhood," Gilley said.

"There is not a lot of people coming in at three and four in the morning."

News researcher Cathy Belcher and staff writers Deanna Boyd and Adrian McCandless contributed to this report.

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