Tallahassee woman convicted for husband's murder from 20 years ago

Denise Williams (Leon County Sheriff's Department - Booking Report)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Denise Williams has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Mike Williams nearly 20 years ago.

Wednesday, Denise was also sentenced to 30 years for a secondary count. The sentences will be served concurrently. There will be no chance of parole for Denise because she was convicted on a first degree murder charge.

Last month, Williams was found guilty of first degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, accessory to murder, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, and two counts of insurance fraud.

The accessory charge was dismissed during a hearing in January since the law states someone cannot simultaneously be an accessory in a murder they've been convicted of.

Mike's mother, Cheryl, was also in court Wednesday for the sentencing.

It was an emotional moment for Mike's family, many of whom were in attendance. Cheryl read a letter addressed to the judge, others breaking down in tears as she read. “Judge Hankinson, I am a fighter,” Cheryl said. “I became even more determined to find the truth.”

Before being charged with Mike's murder, Denise worked at FSU's Doak Campbell Stadium.

Mike Williams' remains were recovered back in December 2017 after he went missing for more than 17 years. The case was originally classified as a drowning before investigators determined he was murdered.

He went missing on December 16, 2000 after leaving home that morning to go duck hunting on Lake Seminole in Jackson County. When he didn't come home, his wife and best friend went looking for him.

Brian Winchester, who was Mike's best friend, confessed to helping Denise plot Mike's murder and was a key witness for the state's case. Despite Winchester confessing to the murder, the state granted him immunity in exchange for his testimony against Denise.