Criminal Law Charlotte Ivey Trial set to start in 1994 Lubbock homicide

Published on March 5th, 2013 | by Daniel R. Perlman


Trial set to start in 1994 Lubbock homicide

Ivey plans to be in court this week to see Kerry Don Williams of Levelland tried for homicide for slaying his mother, Charlotte Ivey, a 44-year-old homeless, divorced mother of four.

Charlotte Ivey was found dead of multiple stab wounds in an all-night midtown laundromat one morning in late January, 19 years ago.

The files include letters from Williams to Underwood in which he tries to have his appointed attorneys — Kerry Piper and Stefanie Gonzalez — replaced, complaining that Piper seemed to be encouraging him to make a deal rather than pursue the case.

Underwood ultimately refused the request, but after receiving a letter from Williams claiming he could prove prosecution evidence had been manufactured, the judge approved an additional expense for more private investigation service to the defense.

Lubbock police announced a break in the case two years ago after detectives working cold cases resubmitted evidence to the Texas Department of Public Safety crime laboratory.

In announcing the break, and that they’d obtained an arrest warrant for Williams, Lubbock police were careful to say only that they had a DNA match from physical evidence at the scene, without giving details of what matched.

They did say Williams’ name did not come up in the investigation until the laboratory results came in.

Williams, now 37, was serving a sentence in a prison near Amarillo for a 2003 attempted aggravated sexual assault conviction from Hockley County.

In December 2010, when police announced the break in the case, Hank Ivey explained that his mother had done janitorial and other cleaning work, but suffered breakdowns and other mental problems.

He last saw his mother about two weeks before the murder. At the time, she’d been a live-in caregiver for an older woman, who had a habit of kicking Charlotte out of the house when the weather turned cold, Ivey said.

A box containing her possessions was found near her bloody, partially nude body. Police said at the time there were no obvious signs that any of her possessions were missing.

Her body was found just after 4 a.m. by a man who came in to do his laundry.

She’d suffered four stab wounds.

Williams asked Underwood in August to replace Piper and Gonzalez, contending that Piper – the lead attorney in the case — was “advising me to take a plea bargain instead of trying to defend myself against this charge.”

Piper and Gonzalez both filed motions with the court to withdraw, but Underwood refused.

Williams later offered to plead guilty to manslaughter, but said in a letter to the court that if the plea was unacceptable “I have no other choice but to go to trial and fight.”

He then asked for a more thorough defense investigation in the case.

Underwood, who had already approved $2,500 for investigator expenses, gave the defense another $1,500.

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Source: Amarillo Globe News “Trial set to start in 1994 Lubbock homicide,” March 4, 2013.

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