JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Brianna Williams appeared in court Tuesday for a status conference on her charges of aggravated child abuse, tampering with evidence, child neglect and lying to police in connection with the disappearance and death of her daughter Taylor Rose Williams.
Last week, the State Attorney’s Office has provided Williams’ defense lawyer with more discovery material in the case, including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement forensic report.
The report is expected to reveal whether or not bloodstains found at Williams’ Southside apartment were from Taylor. It’s unclear when that report might be made public.
It was the first time Brianna Williams had been seen publicly in almost two months.
The pre-trial hearing held via Zoom was only a few minutes long but Jacksonville attorney Rhonda Peoples-Waters said the FDLE’s forensic report could be a turning point in the case.
“It will define whether that blood matches Brianna’s daughter Taylors blood. I think this is a very defining moment in this case,” Peoples-Waters said.
Peoples-Waters is not connected with Williams’ case but has worked in criminal law for over 20 years.
"If they believe this blood kind of contrasts or defies what Brianna told them as to what happened previously with her daughter or links her more to the death of Taylor, then the state attorney’s office will have the option to upgrade the charges,” Peoples-Waters said.
Williams’ lawyer has also been given 31 pages of supplemental reports from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Court documents suggest that Brianna Williams tortured, maliciously punished or caged Taylor sometime between the last time the girl was seen alive in April and Nov. 6, 2019 -- when Williams reported her missing.
According to evidence released in the case, investigators found possible bloodstains in six locations in the apartment, including inside a closet.
Prosecutors have charged Williams with tampering with evidence because investigators believe she dumped Taylor’s remains in Alabama before saying the girl had disappeared.
Williams has not been charged with causing her daughter’s death. Based on Florida sentencing guidelines, if Williams were to be convicted on all five charges, she could face decades in prison.
Williams, who is still being held on more than $1 million bond, is due back in court June 30.
Williams pleaded not guilty to the updated charges and waived her right to a speedy trial.