PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Jurors began deliberations Tuesday afternoon in the trial of a Wilkinsburg woman accused of killing her 3-year-old daughter and dumping her body in the woods.
The defense rested its case earlier in the day without presenting any testimony.
But before the jury was sent to deliberate in the trial of Adrienne Williams, defense attorneys told the panel during closing arguments that in their eyes, the prosecution had not met the burden of proof.
Days after her death, loved ones and neighbors gathered to pray for justice for little Adrionna Williams. The bubbly, energetic toddler was just weeks away from celebrating her 4th birthday.
They never expected the child’s mother to be named as the lone suspect in the crime.
But Adrienne Williams’ attorney wants the jury in this high-profile murder trial to look closely at the evidence. The autopsy shows the girl died from asphyxiation, but the defense argues prosecutors can’t prove where, how and why Adrionna was killed.
They said guessing and speculation are the crux of the prosecution’s case.
Adrionna’s body was found tossed in a wooded ravine near her grandmother’s house in June of 2015.
During the prosecution’s closing arguments, the assistant district attorney reminded jurors not to base their decision on one piece of evidence, but to draw their conclusion on all the little pieces of circumstantial evidence against Williams.
So far, jurors have heard about DNA on a shirt the mother was wearing that matched to her daughter, and colored paper clips found at the crime scene that resemble the same paper clips found in Williams’ red Toyota.
There is also surveillance footage that shows the vehicle a few blocks from the ravine, and cell phone records that show 21 missed calls to Williams before the body was discovered.
Williams is charged with homicide, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence
If the jury finds her guilty, it could be one of 3 counts – first-degree murder, third-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter.
Deliberations began just after the noon hour, but with so much evidence to review from the week-long trial, the jury was sent home for the day around 4 p.m. and will reconvene Wednesday morning.