Sheriff's Office: Fight Over Lights Left On Led to Murder

Michael D. Williams allegedly murdered ex-wife, her son after fights about electricity usage
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2022 12:25 PM CDT

Florida police arrived at Michael D. Williams' home on Sunday after the 47-year-old placed a 911 call to report he'd killed his ex-wife and her adult son in self-defense. The Volusia Sheriff's Office alleges the deaths were actually the grim outcome of a fight over electricity and leaving lights on. NBC News reports Marsha Ebanks-Williams, 48, and Robert Adams, 28, were shot dead in the DeLand home that Williams and Ebanks-Williams continued to share; the two had finalized their divorce in June after a decade of marriage. The sheriff's office noted it found Adams' two children, ages 5 and 6, unharmed in the home; Williams was sitting in a car parked in the driveway.

Per NBC, Chief Deputy Brian Henderson says, "Michael was upset that he felt that they were leaving the lights on in the house," and when he left the house Sunday, he first shut off the power and locked the electrical panel. Upon returning to the house, Henderson says Williams discovered the two had cut the lock, turned on the power, and put a new lock on the panel. "He became upset and that started this argument, which ultimately resulted in these two people being shot and killed," says Henderson, who adds that despite saying he'd been attacked and punched in the face, Williams displayed no external injuries beyond superficial scratches.

Henderson shared that the former couple had had a contentious few months, with at least five calls placed to the sheriff's office following fights about their belongings and their shared living arrangements. No threats of violence had been reported, however. Ebanks-Williams placed a call to the sheriff's office hours before her death seeking legal advice, Henderson says. Williams has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder. (Read more murder stories.)

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