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Williams: Drug use sparked break-in, attack

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on July 7, 2010 1:46 PM

A cross-examination of murder suspect Brandon Lee Williams Tuesday focused on his admissions of drug use and the role it played in the shooting death of a Fremont woman.

Assistant District Attorney Matt Delbridge focused on the specific drugs that Williams admitted to using, including alcohol and marijuana from an early age, then LSD, cocaine, ecstasy and other drugs.

The focus on drug use is related to a videotaped confession in which Williams said the shooting death of Silvia Benitez Morales of Fremont was part of his attempt to get more money to use heroin.

However, during the trial, Williams has testified that he told detectives he was attempting to rob Mrs. Morales because they told him it would "look better" than sexual assault charges.

Delbridge asked about a few specific drugs in particular.

"LSD -- that's pretty out there, isn't it?" Delbridge asked the defendant.

"You asking my opinion?" Williams said in response.

Delbridge responded in the affirmative.

"It's not a very addictive drug," Williams said.

After more questioning about the drugs Williams had used, the assistant district attorney moved on to the day of the murder.

"Your testimony about your travels on the day of the homicide -- you say they were fueled by your desire to get some heroin," Delbridge asked.

"Yes, sir," Williams said in response.

Later, Delbridge asked why Williams would say he went to rob Mrs. Morales, when he now says the truth was far less violent.

"Why on earth would you make something up that's worse than what the truth was? Why didn't you say you were going to go there to trade or barter the drugs?"

Williams said he was frightened of what could happen to him based on information gathered from his interview with police, which was recorded on video.

"At that time, the only thing on my mind is that the detectives were saying I was going to get the death penalty for raping this lady, and it would be better to say that I was there to rob this lady," Williams said.

Williams had also faced charges of first-degree rape and first-degree sexual offense, but those counts were dropped by Judge Arnold O. Jones after a motion by defense attorney Geoffrey Hulse.

The trial was expected to continue today at 9 a.m.