Murder trial for Lake County man representing self begins

Donald Williams charged with killing 81-year-old woman

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Opening statements are underway in the trial for the man accused of kidnapping and killing an elderly woman in Lake County in 2010.

Donald Williams is representing himself in the trial with no lawyer after he fired his public defender in April. Williams was caught on surveillance video leaving a Leesburg Publix with 81-year-old Janet Patrick, who he had just met. About a week later, police found Patrick's body in Poinciana woods.

A jury was selected on Monday and on Tuesday morning the state began calling its witnesses. Williams only briefly cross-examined them.

The witnesses included Richard Wagner, who is a bagger at Publix, to testify about the day in October 2010 when Williams came through his line to check out with Patrick. Wagner testified that he helped the two with their bags to Patrick's car.

In cross-examination, Williams pointed out that Wagner misidentified the model of the car in his deposition.

A judge asked on Tuesday again if Williams would like a court-appointed attorney and Williams declined.

Williams has filed a notice with the court that he plans to rely on an insanity defense. But many jurors questioned how Williams can argue insanity, yet represent himself.

Watch Local 6 for more on this story.

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