A last minute plea deal sends a man to prison for life. Martinez Williams was supposed to go to trial for the murder of a man in his own backyard. The jurors were picked, but Williams shut the trial down with a last minute plea. The News On 6's Ashli Sims reports the plea deal had been on the table for months, but Martinez Williams didn't decide to take it until Wednesday.
Martinez Williams now admits he murdered Steffan Schlemme last September.
"Well, it's sort of mixed feelings. It's a relief to, ya know, get it over with. But, at the same time, we were ready," said Steffan's father, David Schlemme.
David Shlemme was there the day his 27-year-old son was shot to death.
Prosecutors say the two were putting together a weed eater, when Williams asked them for gas or money, and then pulled out a gun. David Shlemme says there was a moment, when Williams could have walked away.
"We were half coming off the ground and he was standing. And, he had a chance to get the money and that was it. But, that was the time he became a murderer," said Steffan's father, David Schlemme.
Steffan died in his father's arms.
"The memory of someone you care about is difficult, but the type of individual he was still lives within his family," said Steffan's father, David Schlemme.
Williams pleaded guilty to first degree murder and attempted robbery with a gun. He also pled no contest to two other counts of robbery from earlier that day. The judge sentenced him to four life sentences that will all run at the same time.
"That's a life sentence that he just took. It provides closure and it provides finality," said prosecutor Bill Musseman.
"Well, I think him taking this plea deal at the last moment, I think he realizes he needs to make some restitution. And it's a heavy deal," said Steffan's father, David Schlemme.
By law, Martinez Williams will have to serve 85% of his sentence. That means he won't be eligible for parole for 38 years.
09/14/2007 Martinez Williams Appears In Court