Tallahassee, FL - September 24, 2012
A local woman is opening up about how her 23 year military career ended when she fatally stabbed her husband.
Cynthia Williams spent five years in a military prison for killing her husband. But she claims for years leading up to that incident, she was his victim.
A mother of three, Cynthia, had already been through two failed marriages when she meet Kevin Williams, while playing a card game with friends. They both were in the U.S. Army, stationed in Hawaii.
"When I saw him, I just thought, he was so handsome and I was just amazed by how cute he was," says Williams.
The two hit it off and although there were early signs of abusive behavior, after two years of dating, the couple got married.
Kevin had been discharged from the military and Cynthia passed off his behavior as insecurity.
"I thought- Maybe he's jealous, thinking I'm going to leave him alone. But it got worse and that's when I started finding out that he was a drinker. But when he was sober, he was wonderful," she says.
Cynthia says after nine years of constant verbal, mental and physical abuse, she finally walked away from the marriage.
But after just one year apart, she gave him another chance.
"He called me up one day and told me that he'd lost everything. He had no place to go, he wanted to get back with me, he wanted to be a good husband," says Williams.
But Cynthia says her husband hadn't changed.
"He just kept going to jail, having affairs, basically taking the money and a lot of time I didn't have money because he had taken it. So mentally, I was just exhausted," she says.
And just one year into their new marriage... on July 24th, 2005...
the relationship took a tragic twist.
Cynthia says one of her husband's girlfriends had called her up and after a long conversation with him about the affair, he agreed to introduce her to the other woman. Cynthia says because of what her husband told her about the woman, she took a kitchen knife along with her for protection.
But as they walked toward their car, Cynthia changed her mind and decided to not go looking for trouble.
Her husband invited her to go with him to visit one of their neighbor's instead.
"And I was so excited, because he never asked me to go nowhere with him," she says.
But the excitement didn't last long...the couple started arguing inside their neighbor's apartment..and things only escalated from there.
Cynthia says her husband threw a phone at her and she told him to pack up his things and get out of her life.
She says her husband left the neighbor's apartment, but returned minutes later in a rage...and charged towards her.
Cynthia says what happened next is all a blur in her memory.
"Once I came to, I noticed he was bleeding. But I had no clue I had hurt him in any kind of way," she says.
But she had...
Kevin suffered one stab wound to the chest from the kitchen knife Cynthia had with her....he was pronounced dead on scene.
Cynthia says at the advice of her military appointed attorney, she told the judge it was not an act of self defense and took a plea deal.
She spent five years in a military prison...and says the time behind bars made all the difference.
She was diagnosed with battered women syndrome...and came to terms with why she'd put up with the abusive behavior.
Cynthia says there are too many women in relationships that are headed for destruction.
"Even though you might feel, I love him, I can deal with this...emotionally, you can't," says Williams.
Cynthia Williams will be a guest speaker at the "Behind the Door" rally Tuesday at the Turnbull Conference Center at 555 W. Pensacola Street in Tallahassee. The event is sponsored by the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council. A march to the conference center from FSU, FAMU and the Florida Capitol will begin at 5 p.m. and the program starts at 6 p.m. For more information, call 850-222-3845.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call The Refuge House at (850) 922-6062 for help.