Denise Williams denied bond, trial date set

Published: Jun. 18, 2018 at 3:15 PM EDT
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By: Alicia l Turner | WCTV Eyewitness News

June 18, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Monday afternoon, the tension could be cut with a knife inside a Leon County courtroom. It was a packed room as everyone sat on pins and needles, waiting for Denise Williams to make her first physical appearance in a courtroom since her recent arrest. Monday’s hearing was to determine whether or not a judge would grant Denise bond.

The hearing lasted more than two hours. The lengthy hearing was due to a tape of Brian Winchester being played during court. The recording documented an interview between Brian Winchester and investigators with FDLE. Brian admitted to pulling the trigger, but says the murder was Denise’s idea. Brian details the plan, the execution and the cover up of Mike's murder.

Family members at Monday’s hearing could be seen having an emotional reaction to some parts of the recording. Those there in honor of Mike were wearing pins with his picture on them.

After the recording ended, the state and the defense called five witnesses to the stand. After hours of interview and testimony, Leon County Judge Hankinson sided with the prosecution to deny Denise bond.

Prior to the bond hearing, there were conversations about whether or not Brian’s interview would be admissible in court. The defense argued that because he’s not being charged with anything, Brian Winchester's version of the story can't be credible. The state refuted the defense's argument by saying when Brian was brought in for questioning, he was simply asked to tell investigators the truth about what happened.

Following the hearing state attorney Jon Fuchs said, "The entire aspect of this was to bring closure to this and to solve a 17-year-old homicide. We knew Cheryl Williams had been working very diligently to get this investigation done, and to find out what happened to her son. That was the absolute goal in this, is to bring that closure to her."

"I respectfully disagree with Judge Hankinson," said defense attorney Ethan Way. "I think we're going to evaluate our options and make decisions going forward; but i don’t think the state met its burden related to the evidence necessary to keep Ms. Williams held without bond or bail."

A trial date has been set for September 24.

By: Alicia l Turner | WCTV Eyewitness News

June 18, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A judge has ordered Denise Williams to be held without bond following a Monday hearing.

was in the courtroom during arguments.

The judge has set a trial date of September 24.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News

June 18, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A bond hearing is being held Monday afternoon for Denise Williams, the widow of the Tallahassee man who disappeared during a hunting trip in 2000 and


with first degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and accessory after the fact in the death of her husband, Mike Williams.

Right now, the courtroom is listening to a piece of the interview that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted with

, Denise's estranged husband, who confessed to his role in Mike Williams' murder.

In the interview, Brian accuses Denise of being the mastermind behind the murder, but he does admit to pulling the trigger.

We will have the latest developments from the courtroom tonight on Eyewitness News at 5.

For more on the Mike Williams murder case, click here.