Bond has been set at $700,000 cash-only for David Williamson, a Powell man accused of murdering his wife of 36 years, Shirley Williamson, with a shot to the head in the early-morning hours of Aug. 26.
Williamson has been charged with second degree murder, meaning prosecutors must prove the act was done “purposely and maliciously” but without premeditation. Second degree murder is punishable by 20 years to life in prison.
Williamson reportedly told police Shirley, who was blind, had pointed an unloaded gun at him and pulled the trigger, and that she then yelled at him to kill her.
After the shooting, which occurred around 4:30 a.m., Williamson is alleged to have called first his son, Shane Williamson and then the
Powell Police Department.
Shane also called 911 approximately six minutes after receiving a 4:36 a.m. phone call from Williamson. In that phone call, Shane told police his father had told him “You don’t have to worry about either one of us now.”
According to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case by Park County Sheriff’s investigator Phil Johnson, Williamson was waiting on the porch of his Lane 11 house when Powell Police Department officers arrived.
When officers asked him what had happened Williamson said, “Go inside, you will see. She is in the bedroom.”
In the bedroom, Shirley was found with a single gunshot wound to the head, and there were three handguns found in the room, Johnson said.
Hours before the shooting, Williamson had taken Shirley to the Powell Valley Healthcare Emergency Room, where they reportedly argued for a long time. From the emergency room, Shirley called Powell police about intruders in her home, but that call was ultimately labeled as unfounded.
On Sunday, Williamson told police his wife had been hearing people who weren’t there, and that she had barely slept for two weeks prior to the shooting. He said she thought gang leaders were after them. Shane also described his mother hearing things and people.
Shane said his parents’ relationship had soured in recent months, and that Shirley felt trapped in the house by Williamson. He said his father was verbally abusive to Shirley as well, calling her an idiot.
Shirley asked to stay with Shane when the fighting was especially bad, he said. He added that recently, his mom had told him “If I die, it would be someone else who did it.”
In recent weeks, Williamson said Shirley had been walking around the house with a Glock 9 millimeter. The gun was unloaded at Shane’s request, David said.
Shirley was killed with a Bersa handgun Shane said belonged to his father.
“[Williamson] told me [Shirley] was in a better place now. He said it was instant for her, meaning her death,” Johnson wrote of a Sunday questioning of the suspect.
A preliminary hearing for Williamson has been set for 3:30 p.m., Sept. 6.