Judge Declares Mistrial In L.I. Murder-For-Hire Case

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBS 2/1010 WINS) — A sudden twist came Friday in the shocking case of a Long Island woman accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill her husband.

On the second day of testimony the judge declared a mistrial.

Jurors were dismissed from duty after the sudden end to the trial of Susan Williams, reports CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

Defense attorney John Carman asked for the mistrial, admitting to the judge he’d mistakenly signed a document allowing the jury to hear a recording of a phone call made from jail by Susan Williams.

“Mistakes can be made, and sometimes they impair the fairness of the trial,” Carman said. “When that happens, you have to start over, so no one’s happy about it.”

Prior to the mistrial, the jury heard from Peter Williams, the defendant’s estranged husband.

Prosecutors said a surveillance camera caught Susan Williams meeting with a police officer posing as a hitman. She allegedly wanted Peter dead to end a bitter divorce.

One dismissed juror wouldn’t give her name, but she thought Peter Williams came off well.

“Believable, believable; felt sorry for him,” she said.

The jury also heard from private investigator Joseph Labella, who testified he was shocked when Susan Williams asked him about getting rid of her husband.

“She wanted her problem to disappear. She made a suggestion about blowing his car up,” Labella said.

In his opening statement, the defense attorney said Susan Williams was manipulated by the private eye, but the mistrial was declared before the defense could ask him a single question.

Jury selection for the new trial begins Monday.

Prosecutors say Susan Williams paid $500 to the undercover cop, a down payment on a $20,000 hit job.

Dan Bagnuola, director of the Office of Community Relations for the Nassau County Court System, sent the following statement to 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera:

At the beginning of the trial, the parties presented a Stipulation to the Court admitting into evidence a tape recording of a conversation between the Defendant and her daughter, and agreeing that the contents were authentic. At the conclusion of the District Attorney’s second witness, the People asked to play the tape to the Jury pursuant to the Stipulation. Mr. Carmen, Atty for defendant, objected saying that he did not stipulate the tape into evidence, he only stipulated to the authenticity of the recording if it was admitted into evidence. Based on the language in the Stipulation, the Court granted the District Attorney’s application to play the tape. The tape was then played to the Jury. After the luncheon recess, Mr. Carman moved for a mistrial based on the playing of the tape to the Jury. He indicated that over the lunch hour he realized that the draft of the Stipulation which the District Attorney presented to him, and which he agreed to, was different than the final Stipulation that the Assistant District Attorney presented to him to sign. Mr. Carman produced to the Court a copy of the draft of the Stipulation that the District Attorney had presented to him. The Court reviewed the draft of the Stipulation. The draft of the Stipulation did not contain language that the tape was being stipulated into evidence, it only stipulated that the tape would be marked for Identification purposes, and that the contents of the tape were authentic-supporting Mr. Carman’s argument about the intent of the Stipulation. Upon questioning, on the record, the Assistant District Attorney agreed that the draft of the Stipulation, which Mr. Carman had agreed to, had different language than the final Stipulation. The Assistant District Attorney admitted that Mr. Carman had not been advised of the change in the language before it was presented to him in Court to sign. Based on the fact that the District Attorney’s Office changed the language in the Stipulation after Mr. Carman had agreed to it, and that the contents of the tape could be viewed as prejudicial to the defendant, and would not have been admitted into evidence without the Stipulation, the Court, based on the Law, had no choice but to grant a mistrial. Jury selection is to begin again Monday, November 1, 2010, in Judge Carter’s courtroom.

More from Tony Aiello
Comments

One Comment

  1. Joe Law says:

    I bet all the free SW comments above are by two or three people. Sick.

    She is obviously guilty as sin. She had multiple times to walk away. She was asked again and again on tape by the undercover and the PI about just walking away and forgetting she ever talked about having her ex murdered.

    She is an utter disgrace to her family, community and friends. She is only sad she was caught.

    Real sick is that her oldest daughter is on tape rooting for her and assisting in attempting to cover up her moms’ attempted murder of her own father. Wow. What a piece of work.

    It is a shame, but this woman deserves to rot in jail for the rest of her miserable, hateful life and her kids don’t sound like they are too squared away either. It is one thing to ruin your own life. It is truly evil and sick to raise a kid who is warped in your same way

  2. Jane Smith says:

    FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS!! What does the Nassau COunty DA Office think? That this little woman is a threat? Come on, go find some real criminals people.

    1. BORAT says:

      FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS!!

      You already beat me back on here! The Nassau County DA’s Office is a joke! They think everyone is a criminal! That monster woman we have as a District Attorney would love to condemn us all!!

      FSW!! FSW!!

  3. Lady Gaga says:

    I’m so thrilled to see that this movement has really taken off!

    FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS!!

  4. The Rent is Too Damn High says:

    Yesssss!!! This is a load of BS!! I don’t know what the point of keeping her in jail is. Let’s get her out of there!

    Picket?? Hmm. I think if I can do this, I can do anything.
    We’d probably embarrass her (and ourselves). But we could just make sure she doesn’t see us and pray that no one thinks we’re any crazier than they already do (and than we really are, hahaha). How much worse could it really get anyway?

    FSW!!!

  5. Joe Joe says:

    I agree, Free Susan Williams!!

    what do they think they are doing keeping this woman in jail? This is a bunch of B.S.

    Lets go to the court and picket!!

  6. Derka Derka says:

    Yes, a normal bunch of people!! LOL! Well, thank God we all found each other.

    This IS a set up. The question is: What does the FSW movement do? lol! I know there are other people who agree that she shouldn’t be behind bars, but they’ll want to know what being a part of this movement entails.

    FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS!! FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS!

    Good thing we have a man here now! Maybe someone will listen to us now. lol!!

  7. GeorgyB says:

    Thank God I found a normal bunch of people. How can anyone even consider putting this woman behind bars! This is absurd. The woman was obviously set up, no doubt!

    Im joining the FSW movement!!

    FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS! FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS! FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS!

    and Im a guy to!

  8. FSW! says:

    I’m glad I finally found some people who know the deal too! And she won’t be found guilty. The prosecution will keep making stupid errors and if she is found guilty on any of these charges, she will be able to file an appeal and she will be cleared then. So she’s not going to any prision. It’s just not happening.

    FREE……SUSAN….WILLIAMS!!!

    FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS!!!

    This will continue, just as it has, until this is over! They think Kathleen Rice and her people are relentless. Well, we will show them! lol!

  9. RebeccaG says:

    ABSOLUTELY!! Im glad I found some people who know the deal. She has to be found not guilty, this is a travestry of justice!!

    FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS!! FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS!! FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS!!

    Bring her back to her children and let them move on without this bafoon.

    The movement continues!

    FREE………SUSAN………..WILLIAMS………NOW!

  10. Laura says:

    OH! I’m an idiot. I don’t know what I was thinking. I put my real name and thought my stupid screen name would come back up. Hahahah! I was about to hit facebook connect to see what would happen.:/ Oh well.

  11. jane smith says:

    FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS! FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS! FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS!

    IT WAS A SET UP! FREE HER NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS MOVEMENT IN EFFECT UNTIL SHES FREE AND CLEAR OF ALL CHARGES!!!!

    1. Laura says:

      FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS!!!! FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS!!!! FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS!!!!

      DEFINITELY A SET UP!!!! FREE SUSAN!!

      FREE. SUSAN. WILLIAMS.

      THE FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS MOVEMENT WILL BE IN EFFECT UNTIL SHE WALKS OUT OF THERE A FREE WOMAN!!!!

  12. thurston howell says:

    Hook her up to old sparky!

  13. Lady Gaga says:

    FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS!!!!!!!!

  14. jane smith says:

    Good. It just goes to show that this is a witch hunt by the District Attorney’s office to get a conviction. Who knows what other evidence tampering and manpulation they have used this far. All the DA’s office cares about is looking good and they will use anyone to do it, just like they said about Susan WIlliams.

Comments are closed.

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