Grand Rapids, Mich.—Closing statements have begun in the trial of an inmate charged with choking a female corrections officer until she went unconscious.
Willie Williams chose not to be in court yet again and was escorted out just before the jury came into the courtroom. The jury will begin deliberating on four counts against Williams, including assault with intent to commit murder.
Prosecutors said the attack happened September 14, 2012, while Williams, who was currently serving jail time for other offenses, was trying to escape.
Several inmates testified this week that they saw Williams sneak up behind the female corrections office, grab her by the neck, throw her down to the ground, and choke her until she stopped moving.
During closing statements, the prosecutor told the jury that the attack was so severe that other inmates watched in horror and thought Williams killed the female corrections officer. The prosecutor even referred to the corrections officer’s testimony in court that she wanted to die so that her suffering would end.
Williams’ attorney maintained in his final statement to the jury that Williams did not intend to kill the guard. He argued that Williams needed the guard’s help to escape from jail, but in order for her to cooperate, Williams would have to threaten her. In fact, the defense attorney told the jury that he would make the jury’s job easy by insisting Williams is guilty for assaulting a jail employee and for attempting to escape from jail through violence.
The jury will now deliberate.