Suspected killer in 1984 murder back on trial Monday after mistrial ruling in December

Retrial Begins

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Jury selection began for a second time in the trial of Timothy Williams Monday morning. Williams is accused of raping and killing a 14-year-old back in 1984.

He’s charged with three counts of second-degree murder for his actions on Thanksgiving night in 1984. Last December, the trial was about a week in when the judge declared a mistrial. His only explanation was “jury misconduct” from more than one juror.

That’s according to District Attorney Sandra Doorley, who tried the case herself and will do so again.

There had been no arrests in the cold case of Wendy Jerome until prosecutors say familial DNA testing identified Williams as the suspect. Williams was arrested in 2020 and remains in jail. 

During jury selection Monday, dozens of potential jurors were questioned extensively on their background, job, and family life. Doorley, the defense, and the new judge, Alex Renzi, all worked to whittle the jury down to 12 fair and impartial jurors.

“We really need to make sure that the jurors can follow the instructions given by the court,” Doorley said. “I think that’s the most important thing. That they can be impartial and follow the law and follow the court and that’s what we’re hoping to find in this jury selection process […] We don’t want the jury to be listening to the news, we don’t want them on social media […] We just want to make sure that they are not influenced by anything outside of the courtroom.”

Doorley says she expects the trial to last about three weeks. News10NBC will have extensive coverage on air and online.