MARIANNA, Fla. -- Wesley Williams' cell phone places him in the general area where his ex-girlfriend and three of her children were killed, jurors learned Friday.
Lee Ross, with Nextel, told jurors at Williams' murder trial that he narrowed down a call from the defendant's cell phone to Danielle Baker's phone at 2:26 a.m. on March 17, 2005, as coming from the west, southwest or northwest of Marianna. Baker's apartment was west of Marianna.
The call, which was 39 seconds long, was the last of a string of calls between Baker and Williams that morning. Baker's former neighbor, LaRuth Snow, said she awoke at 2:43 a.m. to disturbing sounds coming from Baker's apartment. Snow said she heard what was probably the gunshot that killed Baker a few minutes before 3 a.m., although she did not recognize it as a shot at the time.
Williams, 25, is accused of killing Baker, 19, and three of her four children, Amad, 3, Amarion, 1, and Aaron, 3 weeks. Baker was shot to death inside her Cottondale Village apartment on March 17, 2005. The three boys suffocated after being bound with duct tape. Williams, who fathered two of the boys is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated child abuse, and he faces the death penalty if convicted as charged.
Williams' lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Walter Smith, told jurors that Williams had nothing whatsoever to do with the killings. Prosecutor Larry Basford said the killing was done so Williams could avoid paying Baker child support.
Testimony continues Monday in the trial.
Ross testified Friday about 11 calls between Williams and Baker that started after Williams checked his voicemail at 12:49 a.m. March 17, 2005. Most of the calls were a few seconds long, which could have been due to spotty service in the area. Two were five minutes or longer.
Ross also noted a call from Baker's phone to Williams' cell phone at 10:34 a.m., hours after Baker had been killed. Basford asked if that call could have been made accidentally, and Ross said it could.
Ross also told Smith that the calls earlier in the night could have been made accidentally.
Williams, who had driven a friend from Liberty County to Chattahoochee that morning, told investigators that he was not in the Marianna area. In two taped interviews played in court Friday, Williams told Investigator Virgil Watson that he did call Baker that morning after receiving a voice mail from her.
Ross said he could not find any calls from Baker's phone to Williams between the times he'd checked his voice mails that night. Ross said he was able to track Williams' movements that morning as he made calls while driving. Many of the calls were recorded as bouncing off the cell tower servicing Sneads, where Williams lived.
Experts in various fields testified Friday afternoon, but Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts and Watson were called to the stand in the morning.
Roberts told jurors he was the one who broke the news to Williams that two of his sons were killed.
Roberts said he told Williams to be strong because they needed to ask him some questions. After delivering the news, he said Williams "looked at me in dismay." Williams then walked into an empty closet, put his hands on the wall and repeated, "No. This can't be.
"After he was finished saying that at the wall," Roberts said, "he turned around and it was almost as if a switch was turned off. He got his composure and went on listening to what we had to say."
Roberts said he found the reaction odd, as if Williams had not fully registered what had been told to him. But, he said, Williams did what Roberts asked by composing himself and answering questions for investigators.
"I told him he needed to be tough, it was going to be a long ordeal to find out who was responsible for this," Roberts said. He said everyone reacts differently to bad news.
"You asked him to be strong and he did exactly what you asked him to do," Smith said. "Maybe this didn't sink in. Maybe he'd gone blank and it had gone right over his head."