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Florida Supreme Court will hear appeal in Denise Williams murder case

Denise Williams
Posted at 6:00 PM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 18:00:25-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The State of Florida is appealing the 2020 decision in the Denise Williams case to the Florida Supreme Court, attempting to reinstate her murder conviction.

An appeal filed Wednesday afternoon by Attorney General Ashley Moody's office claims the First District Court of Appeals got it wrong when it overturned Williams’ murder conviction last year.

Mike Williams disappeared after a hunting trip in 2000. His body was found 17-years after his disappearance.

Williams was convicted in 2018 of orchestrating the murder of her husband Mike. She was sentenced to life in prison in February 2019. She had her first-degree murder charge and its accompanying life sentence reversed after filing an appeal in November 2020.

While the murder conviction was reversed, the charge for conspiracy to commit murder remained as did its 30-year sentence.

The panel of three judges ruled that the state failed to prove that Denise helped Mike's murderer, Mike's best friend Brian Winchester, commit the crime.

The appeal filed against the State of Florida states the following:

"We conclude that although the evidence was sufficient to sustain Denise’s conviction for conspiracy to commit murder, the evidence was insufficient to establish a prima facie case that Denise met the criteria under the statute for being convicted and punished as a principal to Mike’s murder. We also hold that any error caused by denying the State’s motion to compel election was harmless. We reject Denise’s other claims raised on appeal without further discussion. As a result, we reverse Denise’s conviction for first-degree murder, but affirm her conviction for conspiracy to commit murder."

The full appeal can be found below.

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