Friends tell of couple’s volatile relationship in Highland murder trial
By Ruth Ann Krause Post-Tribune correspondent February 12, 2013 5:34PM
Updated: March 14, 2013 6:31AM
Lake Superior Court jurors heard testimony that a Highland man on trial for murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend was involved in a loud argument that turned physical.
The testimony came in the trial of Douglas Anthony Smith, 27, who has pleaded not guilty in the death of his live-in girlfriend, Jacqueline Williams, 28.
Williams was found dead at the couple’s duplex at 2611 40th Place on Jan. 16, 2012. She was found shot through the left eye.
On Tuesday while questioned by deputy prosecutor Sabrina Haney, Josh Casner testified that he had been at a cookout at the couple’s residence on Labor Day 2011. Both Smith and Williams were drinking heavily, and all the guests had consumed alcohol. Early the next morning, he and two other men were sitting outside by the back door when he heard loud cursing and screaming. Casner said Smith was trying to leave through the back door, and Williams grabbed him by the cheek and pulled him back inside. Casner said he then saw a fist in the air coming down twice and told the other men that they had to go inside and intervene.
“He was on top of her, straddling her,” Casner said. Williams was screaming for Smith to get off of her, then crawled under the kitchen table in a fetal position, sobbing and rocking back and forth.
Defense attorney William Padula elicited testimony from Casner that Smith had scratches on his face and that Casner never saw Smith strike Williams or observe any injury.
Casner said someone got a steak from the freezer and Williams put it to her cheek.
Smith left the house after the altercation.
In other testimony, Smith’s mother, Rita, testified that her son had called her hysterical and asked her to check on Williams. When she arrived at the couple’s residence, two co-workers were there with Highland police.
Rita Smith acknowledged that her son said he “did this to Jennifer” and added that he said it was an accident.