'It snowballed really fast': A man tells a court how he killed his best friend to be with the man’s wife

  • Brian Winchester testified against Denise Williams in a Florida court on Tuesday.
  • The pair are accused of plotting the murder of Mike Williams – Denise Williams’ husband and Winchester’s childhood best friend – so that they could be together.
  • Winchester has confessed to police that he shot Mike Williams during a fishing trip in 2000.
  • Denise Williams was arrested in May on charges of murder, conspiracy, and accessory after the fact.

A Florida man accused of killing his childhood best friend so he could be with the man’s wife cried in court as he described the murder.

Brian Winchester testified on Tuesday against Denise Williams, who is on trial for allegedly plotting the death of her first husband, Mike Williams, The New York Post reported.

Williams disappeared on a boating trip to Lake Seminole in 2000, and Williams and Winchester are accused of plotting his murder by staging it as a boating accident and collecting his $US1.75 million life insurance policy.

Mike Williams’s body wasn’t found for 17 years, and police initially thought he was eaten by alligators after falling off of a fishing boat, according to CBS News.

It was revealed years later that Mike Williams had died from a shotgun wound to the head and was buried by the lake north of Tallahassee.

Winchester confessed last year to killing Mike Williams and repeated the confession in court on Tuesday.

He said he first pushed his friend overboard in an attempt to drown him, but Mike was able to stay afloat by swimming to a stump in the lake.

“He started to yell and I didn’t know how to get out of that situation,” Winchester testified. “I had my gun in the boat, and so I loaded my gun and I just made one or two circles around and I ended up circling closer towards him and he was in the water, and as I passed by, I shot him.”

Prosecutors allege that Denise Williams and Winchester were involved in a three-year affair at the time of Mike’s death.

Winchester had known Mike Williams since middle school, but said he didn’t fall for Denise until he and his first wife, Kathy, started going on double dates with the Williamses in Tallahassee.

“We just connected like nobody else,” he said of their relationship. “It snowballed really fast.”

Denise and Winchester married in 2005, five years after Williams’ death. They later divorced in 2016.

He broke down in tears as he described taking part in the search for Mike’s body after he was reported missing.

“I think [my dad and I] were the last ones. My dad didn’t want to give up,” Winchester said. “He loved Mike.”

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Mike Williams’s body was found last year after Winchester pleaded no contest to kidnapping Denise at gunpoint in 2016 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors offered him immunity from murder charges in Mike’s case if he revealed information about the man’s disappearance.

The details led to Denise Williams being arrested last May on charges of murder, conspiracy and accessory after the fact.

“Denise really didn’t have to do a whole lot other than come up with an alibi for herself and make sure that Mike went,” Winchester said in court on Tuesday, WCTV reported.

Williams faces life in prison if she’s convicted. Her lawyers have denied Winchester’s claim that Denise played a role in the murder plot.

“There is no tangible evidence or physical evidence tying Denise Williams to this crime,” attorney Philip Padovano said. “All you will have to go on is the word of the man who actually committed the murder.”

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