Tuesday, 16 November 2010 13:45
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced that a jury has convicted a Garden City woman of agreeing to pay a hitman $20,000 to kill her husband. In reality, the hitman she thought she was hiring was actually an undercover Nassau County Police detective.
A jury took less than four hours to convict Susan Williams, 44, of Conspiracy in the Second Degree and Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree. She faces up to 25 years in prison at her Dec.17 sentencing. The trial lasted nearly two weeks.
Rice said that on Feb.19, 2010, Williams approached a private investigator that she had previously hired to investigate her husband, Peter Williams, to strengthen her position in the couple’s divorce proceedings. Susan Williams and the investigator met at a diner, where she told him that she wanted her husband “to disappear” and asked him if he could arrange the hit. The investigator subsequently contacted the DA’s Office to report the solicitation.
On Feb. 23, 2010 during a controlled phone call monitored by members of the Nassau County Police Department, the investigator called Williams who confirmed that she wanted to move ahead with a plan to meet with a hitman. On Feb. 28, 2010 the investigator met Williams at the Country Glen Shopping Centre in Carle Place and introduced her to an undercover Nassau County Police detective who was posing as the hitman. During this meeting, Williams stated that she and her husband were in the middle of divorce proceedings and she wanted him dead. Williams was told by the undercover detective that it would cost her $20,000 to have her husband killed. This meeting was recorded on audio and video.
At a March 3, 2010 meeting at Eisenhower Park the undercover detective gave Williams numerous opportunities to back out of the plot, but Williams remained steadfast and insisted that she wanted to go through with having her husband killed, according to police. Williams gave the undercover detective a photo of her husband, his home and work addresses and provided a $500 down payment. This meeting was also recorded on audio and video.
Williams was also found guilty of Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree for possessing the forged Change of Ownership form on her husband’s life insurance policy without his knowledge to insure that her status as the beneficiary of his policy could not be changed. The policy was for $1 million in the event of Peter Williams’ death.
The jury rejected the defense’s claims that the private investigator and detective had coerced Williams into arranging the murder of her husband.
“The members of the jury were able to hear and see the real Susan Williams for themselves through the audio and video tape evidence,” said Rice. “The defendant cold-heartedly planned the murder of her children’s father and just as cold-heartedly left the devastation of this family in her wake. Thanks to the investigative work performed by both the Nassau County Police Department and members of my office, a life was saved and this defendant will now be held accountable,” Rice added.
Assistant District Attorney Jane Zwirn-Turkin of the Rackets Bureau and Deputy Chief Anne Donnelly of the Economic Crimes Bureau are prosecuting the case for the DA’s Office. Alan Weinberg provided technical support for the DA’s office throughout the trial. Williams is represented by John Carman, Esq.