Youngstown murder defendant says shooting was ‘totally an accident’

Local News

As the victim lay dying on her porch, Jesse Williams said he felt like he was in a dream as he drove away from the scene

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Jurors are deliberating in the murder case of a Youngstown man, who said the deadly shooting was a terrible accident.

Three days into his murder trial, Jesse Williams took the witness stand in his own defense Wednesday.

He is charged with murder in the shooting death of Diane Dent in June 2018.

Police say the shooting stemmed from a fight between Williams and another man over a woman, Rebecca Perez.

“Oh, this guy hit me so I went in defense mode and we got into a little scuffle, and they broke it up,” Williams said.

Prosecutors say the man Williams fought with is the victim’s son, Anttwon.

The day after their scuffle, Williams said he went to Dent’s home on Youngstown’s north side looking for Anttwon but the victim told him her son wasn’t there, so Williams turned to leave.

“Door opened behind me and I’m like, ‘This guy attacked me from behind once,'” he said.

Williams admitted he had a gun in his pocket — never intending to use it — but seconds later, everything changed.

“I just turned around in an impulsive action and I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness!’ Once I fired my weapon, I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness!'”

He called the shooting a “total accident “and said he “didn’t mean for that to happen.”

As the victim lay dying on her front porch, Williams claimed he felt like he was in a dream as he drove away from the scene and went home.

“I was shocked, like, ‘Wow. Did that really just happen? What happened?’ Like, ‘That’s not me.'”

When it was their turn to cross-examine him, prosecutors asked just one question — whether or not Williams went to work the next two days as if nothing happened?

The defendant said yes.

Jurors are deliberating his fate.

Perez was also indicted on murder charges. Police say she drove Williams to the murder scene. She is set for sentencing in September.

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