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Williams waives right to jury trial for murder

A Thomson man accused in the double slayings of his girlfriend and her pregnant sister in April 2008 has decided to waive a jury trial.

Bryant Williams appeared before Toombs Judicial Circuit Superior Court Chief Judge Roger W. Dunaway, Jr. at the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center in Thomson on Tuesday morning where he entered into an agreement with his attorney and the district attorney's office to proceed in that manner.

In exchange for waiving a jury trial, District Attorney Dennis C. Sanders will not seekthe death penalty against Mr. Williams.

Instead of facing a jury of 12 persons who would decide his fate and then enter into a sentencing phase for the purpose of punishment, if he were found guilty, Mr. Williams will now face Judge Dunaway in a bench trial, who will decide his guilt or innocence and sentence, if necessary.

A trial date has not been set.

It is expected to be several months before Mr. Williams' case will be ready for trial, since public defender Harold Wallace already is involved in preparing for another murder trial.

Through his defense attorney, Mr. Williams also pleaded not guilty to the 15 criminal charges filed against him by a McDuffie County grand jury.

Mr. Williams is accused of shooting to death Marlo Mathis and Linda Mathis.

Both victims were shot multiple times at an apartment on Cherry Street in Thomson on the afternoon of April 30, 2008.

He faces the following charges: two counts of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of feticide, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of certain crimes and four counts of statutory aggravating circumstances, according to court records.

Web posted on Thursday, June 03, 2010

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