Trial Starts, East Texas Man Accused Of Murdering 93-Year-Old - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/19/06-Tyler

Trial Starts, East Texas Man Accused Of Murdering 93-Year-Old

The capital murder trial of Clifton Lamar Williams began today.  Williams is accused of robbing, stabbing 93 year old Cecelia Schneider in Tyler last year and then burning her house down.   Because of a leak in Judge Cynthia Kent's courtroom yesterday Williams' trial was delayed. Today, the trial began in a federal courtroom.  

Smith County District Attorney, Matt Bingham's opening statements lasted almost an hour. Bingham demonstrated for the jury- how he believes Williams stabbed Schneider in her heart with a knife.  He says that explains the cut on Williams' hand.  Bingham says Williams' DNA was found in Schneider's car: from his blood and saliva from a cigarette.  

The defense argued the cut on Williams' hand is from fighting with a man. They say Clifton Williams is also known as "Crazy C" because he's a mental patient from the Andrews Center in Tyler. The defense says an acquaintance of Williams' forced him to go to Schneider's home that night.

The jury makeup in this trial is 5 women and 9 men that includes the 2 alternates. If convicted, Williams faces the death penalty.  Judge Kent told the jury it may take up to 2 to 3 weeks.  She also said they may be able to move back to the Smith County Courthouse on Thursday.

Karolyn Davis, reporting.  kdavis@kltv.com 

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