03/04/09 — Man pleads guilty in 2008 Warsaw stabbing

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Man pleads guilty in 2008 Warsaw stabbing

By Staff Reports
Published in News on March 4, 2009 1:46 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Andrew Williams pleaded guilty Monday to voluntary manslaughter in Duplin County Superior Court in the June 20, 2008 stabbing death of Michael Shane Ray.

Williams, 34, also pleaded guilty to malicious conduct by a prisoner for spitting on a guard.

He was sentenced to a minimum of 103 months and a maximum of 133 months by Judge Russell Lanier Jr.

Evidence presented by prosecutors showed that Warsaw police, the Duplin Sheriff's Office and SBI agents responded to a call at the Warsaw Inn on North Pine Street

Witness Jennifer Marie Hill testified that she was in the room at the time of the stabbing and that the victim and the accused had argued over drugs. She said the victim had come to the room several times looking for a crack pipe and that Williams told him not to return. An altercation ensued and Ray was stabbed in the parking lot.

She said Williams told her the next day, "I'm sorry, I think I messed up."

Witness Willie Satchell also was interviewed, and said that about a week after Ray was killed, Williams said he did it in self-defense.

An autopsy performed by Dr. John Almeida of Onslow Memorial Hospital determined the cause of death to be a stab wound to the left side of the chest entering the heart. The victim also suffered a slash wound to the right chin and stab wounds to the left chin. Cocaine was present in the victim's system at the time of his death, the doctor said.

Williams had previously been convicted of assault on a female in 2000, driving while impaired in 2008, and several other misdemeanors. The victim has been convicted of numerous misdemeanors in Duplin, Wayne, and Harnett Counties, as well as common law robbery in Wayne County in 2002, felony larceny and felony breaking and entering in Duplin County in 1999, and assault with a deadly weapon on a government official in Duplin County in 2003.

According to state statutes, voluntary manslaughter is defined is the unlawful killing of another human being without malice. Even if a defendant is exercising self-defense but uses excessive force in his defense, that is construed as voluntary manslaughter.