Denise Williams was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for plotting with her former lover to kill her husband, a Florida judge ruled Wednesday. “My son’s horrific death demands justice,” Cheryl Williams, Mike Williams’ mother, said in court after the ruling. “With today’s sentencing of Denise Merrell Williams Winchester, I believe justice will have been served.” Leon Circuit Judge James Hankinson also sentenced Denise Williams to an additional 30 years for helping Brian Winchester, with whom she was having an affair, plan the fatal shooting of Mike Williams while he was on a boating trip in December 2000. When initial search efforts were unsuccessful, police assumed the 31-year-old real estate appraiser had been eaten by alligators. After his death, Denise Williams married Winchester, and they received a massive insurance payout. In 2017, Winchester confessed to murdering Mike Williams, who had been a close friend, pointing authorities to the body. Williams was arrested and charged last May.
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