David Williamson

A Powell man convicted of manslaughter is requesting his sentence be reduced.

David Williamson submitted his request to the court in March to have his 18-20 year sentence lowered. In May 2018 he was convicted for shooting and killing his wife of 36 years, Shirley Williamson.

The state has filed a motion opposing this request.

“The state is at a loss for words as to why the defendant fathoms he deserves a sentence reduction,” Park County deputy prosecutor Leda Pojman wrote in her motion.

Although his second degree murder charge was downgraded to manslaughter, Williamson did receive the maximum amount of prison time possible for that charge.

“This is what happens in America when you murder someone,” Pojman said. “You go to prison and you serve your time.”

At his sentencing, Williamson’s public defender Tim Blatt requested a 3-5 year sentence, citing Shirley’s growing hallucinations, paranoia and demands on David to deal with her mental needs.

Williamson also claimed Shirley asked him to kill her the night of the crime.

In his recent letter to judge Bill Simpson, Williamson cited poor health and a desire to spend time with family as reasons for why his sentence should be reduced. He did not request a hearing for this matter and expressed guilt for his actions. Simpson has not yet ruled.

“I know I did wrong,” Williamson wrote. “I am not asking to be let out now, I will do whatever time in prison I am capable of doing.”

Williamson, 66, is currently housed at the Wyoming State Penitentiary, a medium-security facility in Rawlins. In his letter, he mentioned his prior military service and his work at the prison as a grill cook, which he is using to pay his restitution. Currently, he could not hope for release until 2031, at which point he will be 78 years old.

Williamson specifically cited acid reflux and level three kidney failure as some of his health problems. On June 12 he submitted medical records to the court in order to further his cause. Pojman noted he did not deny that the department of corrections has offered him care or argue that this care was insufficient.

“The defendant should have thought about his health before he shot his wife point blank in the head,” Pojman wrote.

At his 2018 sentencing his daughter Stephanie Williamson testified on her father’s behalf but son Shane Williamson and Shirley’s daughter Cindy Henson, whom David had raised as his own, both expressed anger through victim statements. Stephanie was the only sibling to take the stand.

Pojman said she reached out to the children again after receiving Williamson’s request, which she described as a necessary “due diligence,” unnecessarily re-hashing strain on the family.

Although she did not specifically identify the adult children, Pojman said one believes the father already received a sentence reduction when his charge was downgraded to manslaughter. Another said the man should serve more time than a drug offense.

One child spoke in support of their father and favors a sentence reduction. In Williamson’s request, he mentioned a daughter would get more in social security if he was released from prison.

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