Williams Left Tape Of Alleged Murder-Suicide Pact With Cowan Woman

  • Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Detectives searching through a gruesome scene at Room 128 at the Hampton Inn on Shallowford Road found a tape detailing an alleged murder-suicide pact, it was testified Tuesday.

General Sessions Court Judge Bob Moon bound Michael Montel Williams to the Grand Jury on first-degree murder charges in the death of 26-year-old Sherry Lynn Smith of Cowan, Tn. Williams remains held on no bond.

Detectives found the lifeless body of Ms. Smith wrapped in bed clothes and located Williams on the floor between two beds, it was stated. He had cuts on his arm, but was not seriously hurt.

Investigator James Holloway said a casette tape found in the room was a narration by Williams of an alleged agreement by the couple that he would kill her and then take his own life. He said he smothered the victim.

But prosecutor Ben Boyer said he believed the murder was pre-meditated and that Williams never intended to kill himself.

Christy Harmon, night auditor at the motel, said Williams came in at 5 a.m. on June 13 and said he wanted a room for him and his girlfriend. She said Williams was "happy go lucky like he was in love. He just beamed he was so happy."

But she said on the third morning of his stay that Williams looked "a little bit strange. He was jumping around and wanted to know if I noticed anything odd." She said he told her he had been wearing all black, but he had switched to blue.

She said Williams told her he was home on leave from Iraq and was looking forward to going back. He said he had fired into a mosque and might face court martial when he returned.

The witness said he also said that he "didn't mind killing women and children because they were going to try to kill him first."

Authorities said military officials had no record that Williams had ever served.

Ms. Harmon said Ms. Smith was "very quiet and shy. She didn't say anything. She kept her head down most of the time."

She said Williams stated that he "was there to show her a good time."

Tammy Harrison, assistant general manager of the motel, said she went to check on room 128 on June 17 because it was past checkout time. She said the door was locked and the chain was on the latch. She had a maintenance man pop the latch.

She said she stepped inside and saw a bundle of clothes on one bed. She said she saw a foot sticking up between the beds and saw quite a bit of blood. She said she moved back and called 911.

Inv. Holloway said Williams was found lying between the beds with cuts on his arm. He said the woman's body was not discovered at first, then was found in the bed clothes. He said there was no visible cause of death.

The body was sent to Nashville for autopsy and the results are still not back.

Inv. Holloway said on the tape that Williams said he committed a sex act on the woman after she was dead.

He said the tape said they had made it appear like she had been kidnapped so her parents would not know about the "suicide." The detective said they were in a car that was stolen in Cowan.

Williams said on the tape, "She wanted it to appear like she was murdered."

He stated, "We were supposed to die together. We planned to do this together, but I couldn't die."

The detective said receipts were found where Williams had bought duct tape and tubing at Lowes and pills at a pharmacy. He said on the tape it mentioned suicide by carbon monoxide and by overdose.

Inv. Holloway said adjacent motel guests did not report hearing anything. He said one guest from Oklahoma did say that he saw a man with bushy hair who appeared to be gay step out of room 128 at one point.

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