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Victim's actions may be considered in murder case

Man shot outside Pepper's Market last summer

POSTED: April 30, 2014 12:34 a.m.

Joseph Scott Williams

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The defense for a Gainesville man accused of murder wants the jury to hear the violent actions of the alleged victim just before he was slain, but a judge on Tuesday pushed off a decision pending more information.

Joseph Scott Williams, 33, is accused of shooting and killing 37-year-old Adrien Lamont Thompson. Police allege Williams shot the Gainesville man multiple times on June 3 in the parking lot outside Peppers Market off E.E. Butler Parkway in Gainesville.

Thompson’s first name is spelled “Adrien” on the motions, but was spelled “Adiren” on police and earlier court documents. His name was listed as “Adrian” on his Facebook page and in his obituary.

Williams is charged with malice murder, felony murder, possession of a gun by a convicted felon, possession of a gun in commission of a crime and terroristic threats. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Shedding light into a possible defense theory, Public Defender Travis Williams said prior violent conduct helped shed light into his client’s state of mind when he shot Thompson, describing what happened in a video he said he expects the state to admit into evidence.

“We believe the state will show video ... Williams was standing, stationary, when Thompson pulled up in his car ... and punched Williams,” he said. “As the video depicts, Mr. Williams then proceeds to shoot Mr. Thompson.”

Assistant District Attorney Shiv Sachdeva asked that the request be denied, not to be reconsidered.

Judge Jason Deal said he would consider the motion again at a May 13 hearing when more information on the alleged acts, including a 1993 shooting and 2004 act of terroristic threats, would be presented by the defense.

Deal said the introduction of such evidence, if allowed, would likely come when a trial had begun, and its relevance prematurely hinged on the defense theory being self-defense.

“That’s what I’m envisioning, but we’re not there yet,” he said.

About 30 people, friends and family of both Thompson and Williams, were present for the hearing.

At the two-hour hearing, Deal also denied a motion to suppress evidence gathered by police who interviewed Williams when he was picked up in Flowery Branch hours after the incident.


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