JURY SENTENCES GEORGIA MAN TO DEATH FOR KILLING WIFE, SON

Relates to:
Date: 1993-11-25

State, The (Columbia, SC)
Author: From Staff and Wire Reports

A Georgia man convicted of murdering his wife and 12-year-old son has been sentenced to death.

The Edgefield County jury that convicted Luke Williams III of Columbia County, Ga., issued the sentence Tuesday afternoon.

Williams was convicted Sunday in the 1991 killings of 39-year-old Linda Williams and their son, Shaun. The woman was beaten to death, and the boy was strangled.

Their bodies were found in Sumter National Forest June 19, 1991, in a partially burned van. Williams was arrested a year later after an investigation by Columbia County and South Carolina authorities.

"He hadn't even paid the funeral bills," 11th Circuit Solicitor Donnie Myers said. "Because of that, they couldn't even put a marker up on the graves."

Linda Williams was a teacher's aide. Shaun was a native of El Salvador orphaned in 1978 during the civil war there and adopted by the Williamses.

During the weeklong trial, prosecutors introduced evidence that Luke Williams had arranged for insurance coverage on his wife and son amounting to more than $584,000 shortly before their deaths.

Williams' attempt to profit from the deaths was one of the extenuating circumstances that allowed Myers to seek the death penalty.

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