TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After four straight years with the highest crime rate of any city in Florida, two high-profile murder cases in Tallahassee have drawn national attention.
Denise Williams, along with her husband's best friend Brian Winchester, who was her lover, are accused of conspiring to kill Denise's husband, Mike Williams, in 2000.
The case unraveled two years ago after police said he tried to kidnap Denise Williams. He has since confessed, according to court documents.
“I ended up shooting him,” Winchester said in a recording played back in court Tuesday.
Denise Williams asked for bond, but it was denied. Her murder trial is set for Sept. 26.
“Of course we’ll be ready for this. We’ve been waiting for 17 years,” prosecutor Jon Fuchs said of the case.
Also in court Tuesday was Sigfredo Garcia, a Miami man accused of stalking and murdering Florida State University law professor Dan Markel in July 2014.
A second man, Luis Rivera, has confessed to killing Markel and told police the motive was the custody of the professor's two children.
“And the lady wants her two kids back. She want full custody of the kids,” Rivera told police.
Police, who arrested Garcia and Rivera last year, have asked for a warrant to arrest the professor's mother-in-law, who they say paid for the hit. So far, prosecutors have said there isn’t enough evidence to prosecute her.
Garcia's case is scheduled to go on trial next month, but the defense is asking for a delay.
Two network newsmagazines were in Tallahassee this week, shooting for soon-to-be-aired stories.
Producers from both Dateline NBC and CBS’s 48 Hours declined to be interviewed on camera, but network news producer Jaime Hellman said it is unusual to have two such high-profile cases in what many consider to be a sleepy southern town.