UPDATE: Friday, March 9, 2012
Michael Williams has been found guilty of first degree murder in the 2010 shooting death of Sean 'Chris' Putnam.
This morning, jurors heard closing arguments from prosecutors, Angela Wilson and Kim Parker, and Williams' defense attorney, Steve Mank.
Prosecutors argued that Williams intentionally shot Putnam in the head and strangled him with a bungee cord.
"Chris Putnam was still alive when this defendant and his girlfriend started strangling Chris," said Wilson.
On Thursday, Williams took the stand in his own defense. He said the shooting was a reaction when he heard his common law wife, Deborah Weiss, scream and saw Putnam holding her hair.
"Mike said the whole thing took like seconds, six seconds, and it would. 'Let go. Let go,' bang, six seconds. Is that premeditation? No," said Mank.
After five hours of deliberations, the jurors made the decision. The judge set Williams' sentencing date for April 13.
- - -
UPDATE: Friday, March 9, 2012
A jury is deliberating the fate of a Wichita man charged with shooting and killing a former Kansas law officer.
Michael Williams is charged with first-degree murder in Sean Putnam’s 2010 shooting death. His body was later found buried in an Oaklawn home in February of 2011.
During closing arguments Friday, prosecutors said the death occurred because Williams wanted Putnam out of the house. They said the two often fought over drugs and money. The state also argued Williams asked for help to dispose of Putnam's body.
But the defense argued Williams shot and killed Putnam out of self-defense. They said Williams saw Putnam attack Deborah Weiss, after she took a shower. The defense said their was a struggle with the gun, and Williams shot Putnam once in the forehead.
Williams hid the body because he was scared, and didn't know what to do, the defense argued.
Weiss was also charged last year for her role in the crime. She pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, and is serving a five year prison sentence.
- - -
UPDATE: Thursday, March 8, 2012
A man on trial for killing a former Kansas law officer has taken the stand in his own defense.
Michael Williams is charged with first-degree murder in the December 2010 shooting death of Sean Putnam. His body was later found buried in an Oaklawn home in February of 2011.
Williams said he and Putnam were roommates, and they often argued. He testified he called the police shortly before Putnam’s death because of a dispute over golf clubs. He said he asked officers to evict Putnam, but police said they did not have that authority.
Williams testified Putnam often became enraged when he did not have drugs. He claimed Putnam had a hot temper. He also told his defense attorney he knew Putnam was responsible for three deaths.
Williams started to become emotional when he described the day Putnam died. He said he woke up to his wife, Deborah Weiss, screaming. He walked into the hallway and saw she was naked. He said she had just taken a shower, was looking for a towel, when Putnam attacked her. He said he reacted by grabbing his gun. He, Putnam, and Weiss all struggled with the gun. Putnam was shot once in the forehead.
Williams said he made sure his wife was okay, then sat down and cried after the shooting. He said his wife then covered Putnam’s head with a bag, and secured it with bungee cords. He told a jury he then wrapped Putnam’s body in a tarp, stored it in his dining room, deciding what to do next.
“Whatever just happened, I didn’t want to go to jail for,” Williams said.
The defense rested after Williams’ testimony.
Prosecutors called two rebuttal witnesses, including a homicide detective. Rick Craig testified he had no knowledge that Putnam was wanted for murder.
Closing arguments are expected to get underway later Thursday afternoon, or Friday morning.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Prosecutors have rested their case against a Wichita man charged with murdering a former Kansas law officer.
Michael Williams is charged with first-degree murder in Sean Putnam’s 2010 shooting death. Investigators said Williams and another man later buried the body behind a home in Oaklawn. Putnam's body was discovered two months later.
In the third day of testimony Thursday, prosecutors called Wichita homicide detective Blake Mumma to the stand. Mumma testified why Williams would have had a motive to kill Putnam. Mumma said his investigation determined Putnam knew Williams was involved in other crimes, and could have notified authorities.
The state rested after Williams’ wife, Deborah Weiss refused to testify. She pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for her role in the crime. Weiss is currently serving a five year prison sentence.