Accused Murderer To Stand Trial

Friday, February 9th 2007, 10:29 am
By: News On 6

There are new developments in the murder case against former newspaper carrier Paul Williford. He's confessed to killing two of his customers, and on Friday a judge found enough evidence to send him to trial for the first time.

The News on 6 was the only station there when Williford heard the news. News on 6 anchor Scott Thompson reports on Williford’s latest court hearing.

As deputies pointed Paul Williford to the courtroom prosecutors were preparing to submit the last of their evidence in his preliminary hearing. Among the evidence, the autopsy of Geraldine Lawhorn, one of Williford's former customers. He’s accused of choking Lawhorn and drowning her in a bathtub in September 2005. Lawhorn’s family believed she died of natural causes until Williford confessed to her murder.

"We've had a lot of conversations, the family and I, and you're right, you've hit the surprise, the shock, the disbelief," said Assistant District Attorney Bill Musseman

Musseman is representing the state in Williford's double murder trial.
Along with Lawhorn, he's charged in the death of Donna Jo Stauffer.
Williford is accused of strangling the 73-year-old in October 2005 at her home.

Part of the prosecution's evidence was a statement Williford gave to Tulsa police detective Eddie Majors. He told the court Williford confessed to killing the two women, saying they "had lived long enough."

Williford told a similar story to News on 6 anchor Lori Fullbright, saying he confessed to the killings, only so he'd be executed. Prosecutors say they haven't decided if they'll pursue the death penalty.

"He's already been sentenced to a life sentence,” Musseman said. “He's a 65-year-old man serving a life sentence. That in and of itself is somewhat unique when you're considering what possible punishments you're going to seek in this new case."

Williford received the life sentence for strangling another woman on his route in October 2005 she survived the attack. Williford pleaded guilty to that charge before the case ever went to trial.

Paul Williford’s murder trial, on charges he killed Geraldine Lawhorn and Donna Jo Stauffer, is scheduled for February 20th.