Court rejects rehearing in appeal of '05 Bracey murder

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON – David Williams’ appeal was denied Tuesday for a rehearing into his conviction for the 2005 stabbing death of his girlfriend, University of Mississippi student Demetria Bracey.
The Mississippi Court of Appeals voted 6-3 to deny his appeal, with those three – Chief Judge Leslie King, Ken Griffis and Larry Roberts – saying they would grant him a rehearing. Griffis and Roberts were part of a three-judge panel that heard oral arguments about the appeal in August.
Judge Jimmy Maxwell of Oxford did not participate in the decision.
Williams’ appeal attorney, David Hill of Oxford, was in a federal criminal trial Tuesday and couldn’t be reached to comment on what’s next for his client. If they intend to continue the appeal, he has 14 days to ask the Mississippi Supreme Court to hear the case.
Williams, then an Ole Miss student from Olive Branch, was convicted of Bracey’s death in September 2007 in Circuit Court of Lafayette County. Judge Andrew Howorth presided.
Williams was sentenced to life in prison.
The Court of Appeals affirmed that conviction in December 2009, then last August, Hill asked for a rehearing.
During that hearing, Hill told judges the trial court erred when it refused Williams’ request for the jury to consider that his involvement in Bracey’s death could have been an assisted suicide, and also that Howorth allowed Bracey’s priest to avoid testifying about conversations with her, despite his providing Oxford police with a lengthy written statement about them.
Williams also claimed ineffective trial counsel.
Bracey of Jackson was found dead in Williams’ apartment. A kitchen knife had penetrated her chest and punctured her heart’s right ventricle.
He claimed she had killed herself in a mutual suicide pact, but he hadn’t been able to kill himself.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.