GSR Presence Critical in Premeditated Murder

State of North Carolina v. Jimmy Lee Williams, No. COA15-826 (April 19, 2016)

This appeal, based on a first-degree murder case in 2012, was submitted by defendant Jimmy Lee Williams in December 2015 and decided in April 2016. In the case, the defendant entered into a heated argument with his girlfriend at the time, Kayetina Little. Portions of the argument could be overheard by houseguests, who were present at the time. A shot was fired and the houseguests discovered Little lying on the bed with a bullet hole in the side of her head. Williams was apprehended approximately 18 hours after the incident, and his jacket, jeans, and shoes were all tested for gunshot residue. All items ended up testing positive for gunshot residue. Given this evidence, and the testimony of others, Williams was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Williams subsequently appealed, claiming that the jury’s claim of premeditation is based on circumstantial evidence and that the GSR analysis was improperly done. These claims were quickly dismissed based on their far-reaching nature and the charges were upheld.

2016 N.C. App. LEXIS 411. LexisNexis Academic.

Forensic Summary by Kenneth Ujevich

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