A 28-year-old West Richland man will be evaluated at a state psychiatric hospital after reportedly telling police that God sent him a guiding light directing him to kill his grandmother.
Court documents filed Monday in Benton County Superior Court detailed the brutal attack on Viola Williams allegedly by her grandson, Adam Ryan Williams.
The 28-year-old is being held in the Benton County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder. His bail is set at $500,000.
Viola Williams, 87, was found dead in her Kennewick mobile home just before 3 p.m. Friday after her daughter went to check on her, police said.
The elderly woman was stabbed, and a knife from the kitchen still was in her neck, according to court documents.
Autopsy results showed Williams died from a combination of blunt force injuries to her head, neck and torso and sharp force injuries to her head and neck, Benton County Coroner John Hansens told the Herald.
"She received multiple stab wounds," he said.
Carl Wigren, a forensic pathologist from Seattle, completed the autopsy Monday evening.
During Adam Williams' first appearance in court Monday afternoon, his defense attorney requested an evaluation at Eastern State Hospital. Sal Mendoza Jr. told Judge Robert Swisher that his client has a long history of mental illness.
In 2006, Williams was charged in Franklin County Superior Court with third-degree assault for assaulting a corrections officer in the Franklin County jail. He was acquitted by reason of insanity and held at Eastern State Hospital for the maximum five years, documents said.
"He was held for a significant period of time and only recently released," Mendoza said.
Swisher agreed to sign an order for Williams to be evaluated at the state psychiatric hospital. Williams did not enter a plea to the charge, and all proceedings were stayed pending the evaluation.
A hearing to check on the status of Williams' evaluation was set for Feb. 22.
"This is clearly a case where mental health issues played a significant role -- if not the role," Mendoza told the Herald after the court hearing.
Given Williams' history, Mendoza said the "critical thing to do is gather all the information" they can before moving forward in this case.
Adam Williams was arrested at his West Richland home shortly after his grandmother's body was found Friday afternoon in her house at the Sun Meadows Mobile Home Park, 3324 W. 19th Ave. He was booked into jail late Friday.
He told Kennewick police Detective Rick Runge that his grandmother was an "extorter" and a "ringleader" that he said led him to allegedly be sexually assaulted by another relative as a child, documents said.
"Williams referred to himself in the third person and told me that the person I was presently interviewing was 'Lucifer Grand Am Dynasty,' " Runge wrote.
After the guiding light and angels were sent to him by God, Williams said he put foil, lighter fluid, gloves and a belt in his backpack and took the bus from his West Richland home to his grandmother's home , documents said.
He told Runge that he was inside the home with his grandmother, got very angry with her and punched her in the head, causing her to fall to the floor.
He then allegedly put his boot on her throat and wrapped the belt around her neck to try to pull her head off, documents said.
Williams said the belt broke, so he stuffed foil in her mouth and tried to suffocate her, documents said.
When that didn't work, he held a plastic bag around her mouth and he could see she still was breathing, document said.
He then reportedly poured lighter fluid on her face and lit her on fire.
Williams then grabbed a knife from the kitchen and stabbed his grandmother in the chest, documents said.
"He stabbed Viola in the throat and left the knife there when God told him that was enough," Runge wrote in documents.
A pair of bloody gloves and the lighter fluid were discarded in a neighboring yard. Two kids found the gloves and brought them to police at the scene, documents said.
Police later found the can of lighter fluid during a search of the area where the gloves were found.
-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org