Second trial for man accused of 1980s murder will begin in February after mistrial

Timothy Williams Trial

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The second trial for Timothy Williams, the man accused of raping and killing a 14-year-old girl in 1984, will begin on Feb. 27 and the district attorney will start her case against Timothy Williams all over again..

It comes after the judge declared a mistrial last week for misconduct from more than one juror. The details remain behind closed doors and a mistrial happens when either the jury is unable to reach a verdict or jurors go against the rules.

News10NBC’s Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke was in the courtroom on Monday and talked to Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley.

“I can certainly tell you that my jury selection will be a lot different, and I will probably incorporate what happened in this trial somewhat in my jury selection for the new trial coming up, we want to really make sure we have a fair and impartial jury,” said Doorley.

One that will hear from Wendy Jerome’s family members and friends and investigators who worked the case for decades.   

Jurors will hear from scientific and medical experts from across the country who will piece together how DNA from one of Williams’ family members ultimately led to his arrest.

“I believe this is the first familial DNA search case that is going to trial, but the familial search is just an investigatory lead, just as we’ve always had hits from the data base or codes hits, those are just investigatory leads and from there it gives you a potential suspect and there’s still a lot of work,” Doorley said. “You have to put together the case, you have to put together the DNA evidence, you gotta put together witnesses and you’ve got to get back to good old fashion police work so, I think that’s what this case is going to be about, forensics and good old fashion police work.”

The district attorney tells me she expects the trial to last at least three weeks.

“You have to understand, we didn’t get through all our witnesses so a lot of the evidence that we have in this case, we believe supports guilt in this matter, has not been exposed to the press or to a jury, so we’re confident about that going forward it’s just basically getting everyone on board again and starting from the beginning.”

Police announced the arrest of Williams in 2020, nearly four decades after Wendy Jerome was killed. She left her Denver Street home Thanksgiving night to go to a nearby friend’s house. Her body was found near School 33 on Webster Avenue.

Timothy Williams remains in the Monroe County Jail where he has been since 2020 when he was arrested and charged with Wendy Jerome’s murder and extradited to Rochester.