A Chesterfield man who stabbed his wife to death must wait three months in jail before learning his punishment.
Tony Williams pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Mia Williams in November 2012. Police say the attack in their Chesterfield home came after an argument over the prospect of divorce. Tony stabbed Mia as their two children watched.
Tony Williams was set to go to trial on a first-degree murder charge, but instead agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge. Prosecutors said the 45-year-old got angry with his wife when she belittled him in front of his mother and claimed she wanted a divorce. Later, while watching television with his two children, his anger escalated into a stabbing brawl at their home.
"We're happy that he finally stood up and said, 'I'm guilty. I did it for whatever reason'," said Mia's aunt Johanna Cousins.
She sat in court and heard how Williams stabbed the 41-year-old mother nearly two dozen times as their children watched helplessly.
"Barely, but I'm getting through. The kids keep me going," said Mia's mother Ruth Coleman.
The state played a video of the Williams' teenage daughter who called 911 telling a dispatcher there was nothing she could do. She and her younger brother said they tried throwing things at their father to get him to stop, but he wouldn't.
Prosecutors says had they gone forward with first-degree murder, they would have had to put the two children on the stand, which neither side wanted to do. The kids are now in their grandmother's custody.
"They're in school, and they go through good moments and bad moments, just like us. That's why we want to get this behind us, so we can move forward," Coleman said.
A judge delayed sentencing Williams until May 1, so he could learn more about the father who once served in the military, worked for the Department of General Services, and has no previous criminal conviction.
"You can't put a number of years or a time on Mia's life. Whatever he got, it would not be enough to pay for Mia's life," Cousins added.
When Chesterfield Police arrived at the home in the 13500 block of Brandy Oaks Road, they found Mia's body with a knife stuck in her chest. According to Police, Mia's teenage girl called 911 for help.
Tony Williams had left the scene by the time officers arrived, but was spotted near the Chesterfield County Government complex. He led police on a chase that started on Route 288 south and ended on I-95 north when he crashed near the Willis Road exit, ran across several lanes of the interstate and was struck by a car on I-95 south.
Tony was previously arrested for assaulting Mia in 2006. At the time, an emergency protective order was issued against Tony Williams, but wasn't renewed after it expired five days later.
Mia Williams was an Army veteran, nurse, and mother of two. Prosecutors said they offered the second-degree murder charge to save the two children who witnessed the murder from having to testify in court.
Thursday, August 28 2014 4:16 PM EDT2014-08-28 20:16:44 GMT
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