Timothy Williams gets 25 years to life for 1984 murder of teenage girl

Rochester man gets 25 to life for 1984 murder

Rochester man gets 25 to life for 1984 murder

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — After decades of waiting, the family of the late Wendy Jerome finally knows justice. Forty years ago, Wendy Jerome was brutally raped and murdered in Rochester. Wendy’s family spent several decades with no answer and went through two trials with her accused killer. Wednesday, Timothy Williams was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for killing that 14-year-old girl. 

On Thanksgiving night in 1984, Wendy Jerome went to deliver a birthday card to a friend. She never made it home and was found brutally raped and murdered outside of School No. 33. 

The case went cold for decades until new forensic technology led to Williams’ arrest in 2020. 

Throughout the trial, prosecutors highlighted that during his arrest in 2020, he said to himself over and over again “I never should have opened the f-ing door.”

Ahead of his sentencing, Wendy’s mother got to throw those words back in his face during her victim impact statement. In her final words (and in her only comment to William directly), she looked at him and said, “I’m so glad you opened the f-ing door.” 

After the judge delivered his sentencing, Marlene said she could finally start living her life. 

“She’s always gonna be in our hearts,” Marlene Jerome said. “I am so glad that he got what he deserved. As much as we could give him. The judge did right […] I am so elated with this sentencing. I just, I’m glad. We got justice for Wendy.”

“The only regret I have is that my father had passed away from cancer before he ever got to this point,” Wendy’s brother Bill Jerome said, hugging his mother. “And that’s something that I carry with me every single day […] and today we got justice — and I know my father would be happy with the sentencing he got today as well.”

This is the second trial for Williams. When he first took the stand last year, the judge declared a mistrial due to juror misconduct.

You can see our coverage of the trial of Timothy Williams here: