Kimberly Sue Williams, 48, of Morrisdale, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, and recklessly endangering another person in the death of her husband Ronald Williams in March of 2019, was given a time served sentence by President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman yesterday at Plea and Sentencing Court.
A jury found Williams not guilty of murder of the first degree, murder of the third degree, two counts of aggravated assault, and simple assault at a trial in June.
There was a question of whether the involuntary manslaughter and the recklessly endangering another person charges would merge or be considered as separate charges for purposes of sentencing. Clearfield County District Attorney Ryan Sayers argued that they should not merge and asked that Williams be sentened to state prison. Williams’ attorney, Steven Trialonas of State College, argued that they should merge and she be given a time served sentence.
Ammerman said he researched the question and said he couldn’t find a legal basis as to why the charges wouldn’t merge because both charges had the same criminal information by the defendant.
Since the charges merged, the standard range under the sentencing guidelines was six to 14 months with the domestic violence enhancement. Without the domestic violence enhancement, the guidelines are three to 12 months, Ammerman said.
Williams, who was held without bail while she was awaiting trial, has 604 days time credit, which is well in excess of the standard range of the sentencing guidelines.
However, Sayers still asked Ammerman to sentence her to state prison.
Ammerman replied said he couldn’t justify sending Williams to state prison.
“I’ll be honest with you, I’m not too happy about it,” Ammerman said.
But Ammerman said Williams has no felony convictions and she has already served well in excess of the standard sentencing guidelines.
Ammerman then sentenced Williams for involuntary manslaughter — a misdemeanor of the first degree — to a time served sentence of 302 to 604 days in the Clearfield County Jail, plus three years consecutive probation and pay a $5,000 fine plus costs.
According to testimony at trial, in 2013 Ronald Williams suffered a stroke that left him a quadriplegic with only limited use of his right arm. He received a $3 million settlement from the hospital where he was treated, and after lawyers’ fees and costs, the Williams received approximately $1.4 million, which was put into a trust to pay for Ronald Williams’ medical care.
Shortly before his death Ronald Williams signed a will leaving Kimberly Williams his entire estate. Without the will, the money leftover in the trust upon his death would have been divided between Kimberly Williams and their two daughters.
On March 14, 2019, Kimberly Williams called 911 saying her husband shot himself. Kimberly Williams was Ronald Williams’ primary caregiver and she told police Ronald Williams shot himself after the two got into an argument when she told him she couldn’t take care of him anymore and was going to put him in a nursing home.
The state police and Deputy Coroner Gilbert Stevenson initially believed her account, declared it a suicide and released Ronald Williams’ body to Altoona to be cremated.
After the body was released, the state police received a call from James Wilkinson of NDC Advisors of Pittsburgh, the account manager of Ronald Williams’ trust, and he said he received an email from Ronald Williams earlier that day telling him something wasn’t right, he needs to change his will, and if something happens to him to get an autopsy done.
A daughter of Ronald and Kimberly Williams also told police she received an email from her father saying he believed her mother was trying to kill him and told her to contest the will if he died.
The state police retrieved Ronald Williams’ body from the crematory in Altoona and had an autopsy performed by pathologist Harry Kamerow of State College.
Kamerow concluded Ronald Williams was killed as a result of homicide because he could find no gunpowder residue in the wound, meaning the gun was fired from more than four feet away and it was impossible for Ronald Williams to shoot himself at that distance.
The state police also ran gunpowder residue analysis on Ronald Williams’ hands, and could find no traces of gunpowder.
The defense’s expert witness, Forensic Pathologist Gregory McDonald of Montgomery County, said he believed the gun was fired when it was in contact of Ronald Williams due to the markings around the wound, and said Kamerow didn’t take enough tissue samples to find the gunpowder residue.