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By Cold Justice
Renwick Jackson, Stanley Mitchell, and Mattie's own son, John Williams, were indicted for the second degree murder of Mattie Williams. They will remain in jail until their trials. Watch the full episode online now.
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By Murray Newman
Since 1999, Murray Newman has practiced criminal law, handling cases from DWI to Capital Murder and everything in between. He serves as a consultant for Cold Justice. Follow him on Twitter and visit his blog.
When Kelly and Yolanda first got to Collinston, Louisiana to investigate the 2006 murder of Mattie Williams, there was no shortage of potential suspects who could have been responsible for her murder. Everyone in the small community had their own ideas about who had committed the brutal robbery and murder. Renwick Jackson was the town's career criminal and he had no explanation for why his paycheck was found inside Ms. Mattie's house. Stanley Mitchell was the mean guy that everyone was scared of. The bizarre behavior of John Williams, Ms. Mattie's estranged son, caused even his own family to suspect him. In one of the strangest murder cases that I've ever seen, everyone was correct with their suspicions.
One of the critical breaks in solving the case was the discovery of the discarded brick at Ms. Mattie's house. The brick was important not just because it answered the question of which blunt instrument had been used to strike Ms. Mattie, but also because it corroborated what a jailhouse informant had said about Stanley Mitchell's involvement. Jailhouse informants are frequently used in criminal trials, but without something to back up their testimony, juries often don't trust them. In this case, the informant had told the investigative team that Mitchell admitted using a brick to hit Ms. Mattie BEFORE the brick was discovered in the review of the crime scene.
Mitchell had no intention of implicating himself in his statement to the police and kept insisting that he loved "old people to the fullest extent." I actually thought that Kelly, Yolanda, Johnny and Armando had developed the strongest case against him early, although he ultimately ended up being the last one charged with the murder.
Renwick Jackson was an interesting character because he seemed very smooth when Johnny interviewed him. Johnny ultimately had him frazzled and frustrated but he was determined not to confess. It was very educational to watch the dynamic between Johnny and Armando as Armando played the traditional role of "good cop," which led Jackson to begin confessing to the crime. The teamwork between the Cold Justice investigators and the detectives of the Morehouse Parrish Sheriff's Office soon led to a complete picture of the kidnapping, robbery and murder of Mattie Williams.
The biggest shock of the entire investigation came when Renwick Jackson implicated John Williams in the murder of his own mother. Prior to that statement, almost everyone involved in the investigation had pretty much decided that although John Williams was a very strange man, he wasn't a killer. Jackson's statement implicated Williams in great detail, which was later confirmed by John Williams' own confession.
Telling the family of Mattie Williams that her murder had finally been solved was such a bittersweet moment. On the one hand, they had the closure of knowing what happened, but on the other hand, learning a family member was involved will keep them from ever having any true peace.
Blog entries are the opinions of their authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of TNT.