New Developments In Alabama/LSU murder case

Published: Nov. 13, 2008 at 11:27 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2008 at 1:26 AM CST
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Michael Williams is accused of killing two people
Michael Williams is accused of killing two people

Reporter: Bryan Henry

CONECUH COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - It's been 4 days since Dennis Smith and Donna Hall Smith were shot to death in the front yard of a mobile home near Evergreen. Initially, the story was that someone yelled 'Roll Tide' and that led to the shootings. This is what Conecuh County Sheriff Edwin Booker said Monday morning.

"Dennis (Smith) called subject Brown and hollered 'Roll Tide' and I think he heard a voice in the background saying LSU should have won that game, but Alabama got lucky," said Booker.

But the sheriff always suspected it was much deeper than that and it appears he was right.

"One of the most senseless murders I've ever seen," said District Attorney Tommy Chapman.

It turns out this was simply a long-standing feud between suspect Michael Williams' girlfriend, Jennifer Greshem and Donna Hall Smith, Greshem's aunt.

"They argued over money, children for some time now. Jennifer threatened Donna and Donna threatened Jennifer," said Chapman.

From there the story gets even more complicated. Alcohol mixed with violence. Michael Williams and Greshem were at home when a visiting friend was on the phone with Dennis Smith. At this point Jennifer Greshem made a remark about Alabama was lucky to beat LSU.

"Dennis responded by saying I ought to go ahead and bring Donna up there and do what she wants to do," said Chapman.

Chapman believes it was all in jest until Michael Williams called and left a voice mail on Dennis Smith's phone.

"He said something like 'if you want to settle this matter right now, come on we're waiting for you,' said Chapman.

The couple arrived in their truck. Michael Williams came out of his home and extended a handshake. The D.A. says Dennis Smith countered with punches.

"At this time Dennis beats and breaks Michael's nose. Donna gets out of the vehicle and starts beating Jennifer trying to pull her hair out," said Chapman.

Another man tried to break up the fight, not realizing Michael Williams had gone inside to get a shotgun.

"He immediately shoots Dennis. Now whether Dennis was reaching for his gun is unclear. He then shoots Donna after Donna said he was going to kill him for shooting Dennis," Chapman said.

A case of self-defense for Michael Williams? Maybe.. but there is a problem, according to Chapman.

"What we have a problem is he goes back and shoots Dennis again who's already taken a pretty serious blow and laying on the ground and shoots him the back, and he shoots her in the back as well," said Chapman.

Perhaps a grand jury will have to figure that out. What is certain is that two people are dead, another man is in jail, three lives forever changed on a Saturday night.

Tommy Chapman says Williams has given a statement about what happened to investigators. Michael Williams remains in jail on bonds totaling two million dollars. He is 28-years old.

One reason for the high bond, according to Chapman, is because Williams was convicted on a domestic violence charge and had threatened to kill other people.