For the second time, two brothers have been convicted of second-degree murder in the shovel-and-pitchfork beating death of a man here seven years ago.
Charles N. Williams III, 24, and Nalen P. Williams, 27, were convicted in King County Superior Court on Wednesday in the killing of Joseph D. Wade in 1990.
The Williamses, who had been on the run, were arrested by Seattle police in July 1993. The brothers were convicted of second-degree murder, but the state Court of Appeals overturned the conviction last summer because of an error in jury instructions.
Defense attorneys Pete Connick and Mary Ellen Ramey contend the brothers acted in self-defense when Wade went to the brothers’ home on Oct. 14, 1990, thinking someone else lived there.
Connick and Ramey said they plan to appeal the case mainly on the grounds that the pair should have been tried separately.
Charles Williams was accused of following Wade down the street after Wade had knocked on the Willamses’ door. A witness saw Charles Williams take a shovel from a truck and Wade pull a knife and show it as he was followed down the street by Williams.
Nalen Williams then drove up in a car, and after talking with his brother, took the shovel from him. Charles Williams then grabbed a pitchfork.
Wade backed up in a defensive posture, according to testimony at trial, as the brothers circled swinging the shovel and pitchfork at him.
Nalen Williams then struck Wade on the head with the shovel, and Wade dropped to the ground, where he died, said Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Mark Larson. The brothers went through Wade’s clothing and took his wallet and $50.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.