Jury in Jeremy Williams’ trial in Lauderdale County shown blood splatter from alleged crime scene
FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Wednesday began the first full day of testimony in the capital murder trial of Jeremy Williams in Lauderdale County.
From friends of Brioni Rutland, to investigators who processed the alleged crime scene on Hawthorne Street, prosecutors worked to build a timeline.
Shortly after his body was found in the waters of the Tennessee River, rumors started swirling of gambling activities Rutland was leading in Colbert County.
Rutland disappeared on Tuesday, November 26, 2013. Prosecutors say Rutland was making his rounds collecting and paying on bets people had made with him from the previous weekend.
Witnesses said they had texted or talked with Rutland that morning, making arrangements to meet. One witness testified he actually saw Rutland, who joked around with him.
The state believes Rutland then went to Jeremy Williams’ apartment to collect a betting debt.
Investigator testimony started when Florence police Sergeant Brad Holmes said he spotted a man in an SUV outside of an apartment on Hawthorne Street the very night Rutland went missing.
Holmes testified he saw what appeared to be two black bags in the back of the SUV and another bag in a doorway.
Holmes then testified to going to the apartment three days later after the body of Bree Rutland was found in the river. At the time, Williams was a suspect in the murder.
Holmes said he spotted blood droplets outside the apartment and after obtaining a search warrant, they entered the apartment and noticed it smelled like bleach.
Holmes said investigators found numerous blood droplets in Williams’ apartment and evidence it had been scrubbed with a cleaning agent.
Prosecutors then presented video of Williams’ initial interview with Florence Police investigators, where he told them step by step how he carried out the murder. He told them he acted alone, and in self defense after he said Rutland choked him and attempted to cut off his pinky.
The day wrapped up with the lead investigator in the case on the stand.