ALBANY, Ga. -- After little more than five hours, a Dougherty County jury found 56-year-old Monty Simpson guilty in the brutal beating and strangulation death of 51-year-old Beverly Williams in March at the Dollar Inn.
A defense attorney in the case, Leisa Johnson, asked for a sentencing hearing from Dougherty County Superior Court Judge Denise Marshall. Marshall granted the request but no date was set.
"A light sentence will not be a win for my family," said Richard Williams, husband of the murdered woman. "He should be in jail for the rest of his life or pay for it with his life."
Williams said finances did not allow him to attend the trial. He does hope to be there at sentencing to let his feelings on the penalty be known, he added.
According to Kathy Fallin, assistant district attorney, who prosecuted the case, the maximum sentence could be life in prison without parole plus 20 years. The minimum would be life in prison with the possibility of parole.
"My four children and I will suffer for the rest of our lives," said Williams, a Florida resident. "I loved her. She was a good mother and wife. Now my children will never see their mother again. That hope has been taken from them forever."
According to Williams, his wife suffered Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome because of the chaos Hurricane Andrew caused in 1992 in Florida. She left him and his children, including an infant, because of the issue, he said.
Seven years ago, she began a relationship with Simpson, during which he beat her in Albany on at least three other occasions, according to testimony during the trial.
The defense painted a picture of Beverly Williams as an alcoholic who either caused herself injury or was attacked by someone else in the pair's motel room.
Fallin argued that drunkenness does not allow anyone to beat another person to death. There was no evidence another person was in the room at the time of the beating.
The jury of nine women and three men returned a guilty verdict of malice homicide, felony homicide and aggravated assault.
Malice, the intention to kill, can be formed in an instant, said Greg Edwards, district attorney. Felony murder is a charge that is filed when a suspect kills someone during the commission of a felony, he said.
In the case of Simpson, he was committing the felony of aggravated assault when he murdered Beverly Williams, Edwards added.
Williams said anyone who is in an abusive relations should call police instead of continuing to suffer physical and mental abuse.
"Please contact officials so that we can intervene and give you protection and help with the situation before you lose your life." he said.