Insurance fraud charges dropped against Denise Williams

Posted at 5:00 PM, Feb 06, 2019

The state has dropped insurance fraud charges against Denise Williams, who was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of her husband Mike Williams in 2000.

In documents filed with the court Tuesday morning, state prosecutor Jon Fuchs wote that there is no interest of continuing the prosecution.

"The Defendant has been convicted of 1st Degree Murder and is serving a life sentence," Fuchs wrote in the filing. "The primary purpose of the above styled case is to ensure that the Defendant did not/cannot profit fromt he death of Jerry 'Mike' Williams."

The documents show that Mike Williams' assets were all transferred to Mike's heir.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The family of Mike Williams said justice was served Wednesday.

A judge sentenced Mike's ex-wife, Denise Williams, to life in prison for his murder 18 years ago.

Denise Williams walked out without saying a word, but in the courtroom, the most powerful words came from a woman waiting for this moment. 

"If I had not done what I did for 17 years, Mike's disappearance would have never been solved," said Cheryl Williams, mother of Mike Williams. 

Cheryl Williams took her time Wednesday. She read a letter to the judge before he sentenced Denise. She talked about the pain of losing Mike, the fight to investigate what happened and the betrayal of her daughter-in-law. 

"Not only did Denise kill my son, she stole my granddaughter Ansley, Mike's only child. For her entire life, Ansley was raised in a house with the murderers of her father," said Cheryl. 

Mike Williams was killed by his best friend on a hunting trip on December 16, 2000. Almost 18 years to the day, Denise was found guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Both sentences will run at the same time, but she'll remain behind bars for life. 

"Justice is what I wanted for Mike, and if Denise has to go to prison for the rest of her life and she can never get on parole, that's justice," said Cheryl. 

After the hearing, Mike's friends and family left the courthouse and headed to the cemetery. They visited Mike's grave for the first time since they buried him.  

Cheryl Williams said she loves her granddaughter Ansley and is hoping they can reconcile.

She said they haven't had a relationship since Ansley was five and a half years old.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Denise Williams has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Mike Williams nearly 20 years ago.

Wednesday, Denise was also sentenced to 30 years for a secondary count. The sentences will be served concurrently. There will be no chance of parole for Denise because she was convicted on a first degree murder charge. 

Last month, Williams was found guilty of first degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, accessory to murder, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, and two counts of insurance fraud.

The accessory charge was dismissed during a hearing in January since the law states someone cannot simultaneously be an accessory in a murder they've been convicted of. 

Mike's mother, Cheryl, was also in court Wednesday for the sentencing.

It was an emotional moment for Mike's family, many of whom were in attendance. Cheryl read a letter addressed to the judge, others breaking down in tears as she read.

Before being charged with Mike's murder, Denise worked at FSU's Doak Campbell Stadium. 

Mike Williams' remains were recovered back in December 2017 after he went missing for more than 17 years. The case was originally classified as a drowning before investigators determined he was murdered.

He went missing on December 16, 2000 after leaving home that morning to go duck hunting on Lake Seminole in Jackson County. When he didn't come home, his wife and best friend went looking for him. 

Brian Winchester, who was Mike's best friend, confessed to helping Denise plot Mike's murder and was a key witness for the state's case. Despite Winchester confessing to the murder, the state granted him immunity in exchange for his testimony against Denise.