Murder victim's 'fatal attraction' gets life term
The family of a man Elizabeth Jewell Williams had killed after they broke up celebrates the end of "pain and aggravation."
By COLLEEN JENKINS
Published September 26, 2006
TAMPA - Charles "Chuck" Rock's family said they were pleased that a judge sent Elizabeth Jewell Williams to prison Monday for the rest of her life.
More important, they were happy to have her out of theirs.
"You've brought pain and aggravation to us for the last time, I hope," said Rock's mother, Joyce Rock-Taft.
The aggravation started soon after Williams, 40, of Pinecrest began dating Rock.
The day after the pair met, she sent Rock a dozen roses, chilled Budweiser and a note signed, "Your Fatal Attraction." What followed was a stormy on-again, off-again relationship that lasted a few years before ending, in Rock's mind, in late 2002.
But Williams wouldn't let go.
At her murder trial two weeks ago, jurors heard about the pain she decided to inflict after Rock moved on to a new relationship.
Prosecutors said Williams persuaded 25-year-old Joshua Singletary to meet Rock at a Riverview park Aug. 10, 2003, douse him with gasoline and set him on fire.
Williams wasn't charged with conspiring to kill the 35-year-old Rock until March 2004 - after shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem repeatedly aired a voice mail recording on which Williams and Singletary seemed to incriminate themselves.
The murder charge against her came a year later.
Singletary pleaded guilty and got a 40-year prison sentence on Friday in exchange for testifying against Williams. A jury found her guilty of second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Neither Williams nor her family spoke on her behalf at Monday's sentencing.
But anger spewed from Rock's family and friends, who said Williams let down her own family as much as theirs. She has two daughters, a teenager and a 20-year-old.
"Three entire families have been destroyed by one single night of vengeance and cocaine indulgence and hatred," said Vickie Lynne Rock, the victim's sister.
"I'll see you in the gates of hell," Thomas MacKenzie, one of Charles Rock's close friends, said to Williams. "I'll be there waiting for you."
He smiled at her, and she smirked back.
Others said Williams' worst sin was leaving Rock's 12-year-old son, Zachary, without a father.
"He lost his superhero," said Ralph Slone, who watched Rock burn.
Brother Richard Slone, another lifelong friend from Riverview, spoke directly to Williams. He recalled how she once carried a Bible for a courtroom visit.
"Beg God for forgiveness and maybe he will" grant it, Richard Slone said. "But the community won't."
Circuit Judge J. Rogers Padgett sentenced Williams to life in prison for the murder and 15 years for the conspiracy, the sentences to be served concurrently.
Immediately, the anger of Rock's supporters gave way to celebration.
"Yes!" a man yelled.
Colleen Jenkins can be reached at 813 226-3337 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Last modified September 26, 2006, 01:12:46]
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