Rene C. Davidson Courthouse. Photo: Melati Citrawireja
Rene C. Davidson Courthouse. Photo: Melati Citrawireja

After suddenly announcing Wednesday that convicted murderer Darnell Williams Jr. would testify on his own behalf, the defense team backtracked Thursday morning with the brief announcement that it would instead rest its case.

The disappointment in the courtroom was palpable, as relatives and supporters of Williams’ two murder victims, along with other attorneys and interested spectators, had come to court to hear what he had to say.

At least some members of the jury appeared miffed they had made the trip to court for nothing.

“I knew your sucka ass weren’t going to get up there,” the sister of Anthony Medearis III — one of Williams’ two victims — yelled at him as she left the courtroom. Court staff told her she could not return for the remainder of the trial. 

Judge Jeffrey Horner thanked the jury for its continued patience.

“We are coming up to the last stages of this case,” he said after the defense team’s announcement, which took place shortly before 10 a.m.

The murder trial began in late March and the jury found Williams guilty earlier this month of the 2013 murders of Medearis, 22, and 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine, along with a slew of other charges.

Tuesday, attorneys are scheduled to make their closing statements in the case. Afterward, the jury is set to deliberate to decide whether to recommend a sentence of death or life in prison without parole.

Stay tuned to Berkeleyside for continuing coverage. Read complete coverage of the case.

Convicted murderer says he’ll take the stand (05.25.16)
Convicted killer: ‘I been in the streets since I was 9’ (05.25.16)
Attorney: Williams says ‘death sentence is fine with him’ (05.23.16)

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...