First murder of year solved, police say

Man accused of killing ex-wife's boyfriend minutes into New Year's Day

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The first murder in Jacksonville in 2016 was committed by a jealous ex-husband, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Edward Williams, 37, has been charged with the New Year's Day shooting death of 41-year-old Michael Daniels, who was dating Williams' ex-wife, police said.

Daniels was shot in the chest just after midnight Jan. 1 outside his home on Cadley Circle in the Dinsmore area. He died later at UF Health Jacksonville.

Lt. Steve Gallaher said Tuesday that Daniels' girlfriend told investigators that the shooter was her ex-husband.

Investigators later spoke to someone who knows Williams, who told them that Williams said on New Year's Eve that he was going to kill Daniels because Daniels was standing in the way of Williams getting back together with his ex-wife.

Williams turned himself in to police Tuesday morning on a murder arrest warrant, Gallaher said. Williams is also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Daniels' girlfriend and his mother told police that the incident began about 8:45 p.m. New Year's Eve when someone came to the Cadley Circle home and rang the doorbell. Daniels' mother was home alone and said she couldn't see anyone through the peephole, but through a nearby window she saw a man walking away. She called Daniels to tell him what happened.

Just over an hour later, Daniels and his girlfriend came home from church, and someone again rang the doorbell about 11:20 p.m. Daniels answered the door and found no one there. When he went outside to investigate, Williams shot at him and missed, police said. Williams fled the scene and Daniels ran back inside and called police. He filed a report about the shooting, Gallaher said.

Less than an hour later, about 10 minutes after midnight, Daniels went outside to use his phone, Gallaher said.

Daniels' girlfriend said that when Daniels went outside, she heard two gunshots, and Daniels stumbled back inside with gunshot wounds and said, “He shot me.”

According to News4Jax's archives, there were 113 homicides in Jacksonville in 2015, of which 96 were murders. At least 20 of those homicides were domestic. The worst months were August and November, which each saw 13 killings.

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