Disturbing details released in murders of Gainesville mother, daughter

Paul Williams to be charged in connection with case, Sheriff's Office says

By Colette DuChanois - Web producer, Josh Williams - Producer, Zachery Lashway - Reporter/anchor

ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. - The arrest report of a Gainesville father reveals what he told police he did to his wife and daughter, ending their lives.

Paul Williams was taken into custody Friday after his wife and teenage daughter were found dead inside their home in a neighborhood just outside the Gainesville city limits, the Alachua County Sheriff's Office said.

About 8:15 a.m. Friday, deputies said they responded to a home in the Garrison Way subdivision off Southwest 75th Street, near the intersection of Interstate 75 and State Road 24, to conduct a welfare check. 

According to the Sheriff's Office, the welfare check came as a result of one of the residents, Leslie "Lisa" Williams, not showing up for work at Stephen Foster Elementary School. When the school tried to call her, investigators said, her husband, Paul Graves Williams, answered the phone instead and said something along the lines of "go check on her." The school resource officer then notified the Sheriff’s Office.

According to Paul Williams' arrest report, deputies arrived and found the back door open and blood on the floors. Investigators found Leslie Williams, 57, dead inside the master bedroom with "severe trauma". The report says her body had been staged after her death.

Detectives said the body of the couple's daughter, Paige Williams, 15, was found in another bedroom. She had been stabbed at least 35 times and moved after her death, the report states.

Investigators noted there were no signs of forced entry into the home and they said Paul Williams, who was not there, was identified as a person of interest.

"We don't have any history of responding to that residence here at the sheriff's office for any domestic disturbances or anything like that," said Lieutenant Brandon Kutcher with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.

After his photo and vehicle description were released about 11 a.m., deputies said, Paul Williams drove back to the home, where he was taken into custody. 

Paul Williams, 61, was charged in the case and was booked into the Alachua County jail, according to the Sheriff's Office.

His arrest report says Paul Williams admitted to the killings, saying he stabbed his daughter and wife to death. The report says he told police he stayed in the home for at least a day after their deaths before running away.

During an interview Paul Williams told detectives he stabbed his daughter repeatedly until she was "gone". He told officers he then moved to the master bedroom where he stabbed his wife multiple times.

Paul Williams told police he know what he was doing was wrong, but that he "snapped" and "it was the devil inside of him".

"I just had no idea how this could happen and wanted to know why and now that I know the story, it’s very tragic," a neighbor of the family's told News4Jax. "It’s very, very sad."

Paul Williams' charges are listed as two counts of premeditated murder, two counts of tampering with evidence and two counts of obstructing police.

Leslie Williams' sister spoke over the phone with TV 20 News in Gainesville, saying the three were the sweetest people she knew.

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