(WASHINGTON) - Derek Franklin Williams, 49, of Washington, was sentenced Monday morning to 65 years in prison for the murder of his wife, Kim, on Feb. 4, 2011.
Andrea McCann, of the Washington Times-Herald, reports the presumptive sentence for murder in Indiana is 55 years, and the judge may add or subtract 10 years from that for aggravating or mitigating circumstances. Daviess County Superior Court Judge Dean A. Sobecki sentenced Williams to the maximum, with credit for time served.
"I think the aggravating circumstance of committing the murder in the home with the two children present outweighed the mitigating factors that he didn't have a criminal record, and had a good record in the military and as a civilian employee," Sobecki said.
Criminal action was filed against Williams in his wife's death on Feb. 22, 2011, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. According to Daviess County Circuit Court documents, Kim had filed a petition for dissolution of marriage on Jan. 27, 2011, and Derek was served the paperwork on Feb. 1, 2011. Daviess County Sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call from one of the couple's sons Feb. 4, 2011, to find Kim deceased and Derek with a gunshot wound to the head.
Autopsy results later showed Kim died from two gunshot wounds to the head and had defensive gunshot wounds in her right forearm. Derek was transported to an Indianapolis hospital for treatment of a self-inflicted gunshot wound under his chin.
When he was able, he was transferred to Daviess County Security Center, where he was held without bond awaiting trial.
Following a four-day trial, during which the prosecution had to prove Derek knowingly and intentionally pulled the trigger to end Kim's life, the jury pronounced him guilty of murder.
"I am completely without words to express how grateful I am for the work the jury did on this case," said Prosecutor Dan Murrie. "Every citizen in Daviess County should sleep easier knowing our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to protect them the way Mark Bledsoe and Wendell Wise did in this case."
He also complimented the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) officers who lent their time, effort and talents to the case.
"They did an incredible job, and the citizens of Daviess County are indebted to them," he said.
The NCIS officers used their expertise in various areas of crime scene reconstruction to assist with the investigation because Derek worked for the Navy at Crane.
Kim's mother, Billie Guyton of Washington, also had many thanks for the police, the prosecution and the judge. Guyton, who has temporary guardianship of Kim and Derek's two sons, was asked to write a letter to the judge between the trial and sentencing, and she was given an opportunity to read the letter to Derek at the sentencing. However, she chose not to read what she said was a long letter that outlined incidents that hadn't come up at trial because she couldn't bear to see the "unconcerned look" on Derek's face.
"The judge even told him he saw no remorse," she said. "He told him he killed her with the two boys in there - one 6 and one 13 - and it'll probably ruin the rest of their lives.
"The sentence is what he deserves. From what I understand that's the full sentence they could give him."
Murrie said: "No matter how long I look at it, nothing about this case feels like a victory. There are still two young boys in this community who lost their mother. They're going to face challenges and difficulties most of us cannot even imagine. Our thoughts and prayers need to be with them as everyone moves on from this horrible tragedy."
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