Murder trial to begin

ALBANY, Ga. -- The trial of a man accused of beating his former live-in girlfriend to death in an Albany motel is scheduled to start Monday.

Another trial involving the hit-and-run homicide of a 66-year-old man could also begin.

According to Albany Police Department arrest reports, 54-year-old Monty Caren Simpson beat Beverly Jean Williams, 51, to death on March 11 in the Dollar Inn's room 114, at 2706 N. Slappey Blvd.

At the time, Simpson was under a court order to stay away from Williams. According to police officers, Simpson had been arrested for assaulting Williams several months before officers arrested him on the murder charge.

An autopsy in Macon listed the cause of Williams' death as blunt-force trauma. Police and prosecutors have not identified that weapon used to kill Williams.

Simpson also faces aggravated assault and probation violation charges in connection with the case.

"This is another case where we will be seeking justice for the victim. The alleged murderer has a record of domestic abuse cases that preceded the victim's death," District Attorney Greg Edwards said. "We would like to point out that anyone in this situation should call the police. This didn't need to happen. We can help battered women."

Williams' husband, Richard, lives in Venus, Fla., with the couple's four children. In a previous interview with The Herald, Williams said he had been searching for his wife since she left their home in 1992.

"It was a constant search for us," Richard Williams said when he heard of his wife's death. "I was still in love with her."

Williams did not return messages left on his answering machine Friday.

According to court papers, the trial will be overseen by Dougherty Circuit Judge Denise Marshall. The prosecutor in the case is scheduled to be Kathy Fallin, assistant district attorney.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Heather Lanier could begin prosecuting hit-and-run, vehicular homicide charges next week against two Albany men connected to the death of Roosevelt Cooley on Jan. 16.

"I'm preparing to prosecute the case," Lanier said. "There are a lot of cases next week. This case might be continued, but it has not been yet."

As of Friday, court documents stated that Terry Roberson, 34, and Antwan Jermaine "Obesi" Fields, 37, face charges including three counts of homicide by vehicle and drunken driving. They also face 11 other charges including failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

According to police reports, Cooley, a man with impaired hearing, was crossing West Oglethorpe Boulevard in the crosswalk when two vehicles went through a red light and hit him.

The reports added that Roberson drove a 1996 burgundy Buick owned by Fields at the time. Fields, a passenger, was later indicted for the homicide charges and for repairing incriminating evidence, damage to the Buick.

An SUV also drove into Cooley. Officers continue to search for it and its driver.

Anyone with additional information should call Crime Stoppers at (229) 436-TIPS (8477) or investigations at (229) 431-3288. The Spanish speaking APD-COP Tip Line is (229) 434-2677.

Crime stoppers is an anonymous tipline. People with information could become eligible for cash rewards.