Jurors in cold case murder trial admonished to “avoid any media”


ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Jurors in the second murder trial of Timothy Williams were sent home Tuesday with a strict order from the judge: don’t watch any media.

The cold case murder trial they’re on ended in a mistrial in December because of the actions of at least one juror and the memory of that mistrial appears to be hanging over this trial.

Just before the jury was dismissed, Judge Alex Renzi told the 12 jurors and four alternates, “I’m going to stress to you again and I may sound like a broken record – avoid any media. There is tremendous temptation and it will grow (during the trial) but you can’t do it.”

Timothy Williams is charged with murder. He was arrested in Florida in 2020.

On Thanksgiving night, 1984, the charges say he murdered Wendy Jerome after she walked from her home headed to a friend’s house. Her body was found blocks away outside School 33 on Webster Avenue.

The first witness Tuesday was retired RPD investigator Gary Galetta. He arrested Williams in Florida. But on Thanksgiving in 1984 he was a patrolman for RPD and discovered Jerome’s body in an alcove along the school.

“She was obviously dead,” Galetta said. “There were significant signs of trauma.”

“Did you learn her name,” asked District Attorney Sandra Doorley.

“It was Wendy, Wendy Jerome,” Galetta said.

In the first trial before Christmas, investigators testified Jerome had been brutally raped and murdered.

The case went unsolved before investigators tried a new form of forensic DNA testing in 2020 and the allegation is they got a hit on Williams.

Despite happening 40 years ago, Doorley said it’s a case based on forensic evidence and the latest technology.

“Through modern technology and science and DNA, examining her clothing, examining a vaginal smear that was taken during the autopsy, and we were able to isolate DNA profiles that were consistent with the defendant in this case,” she said to reporters outside the courtroom.

The lawyers for Williams elected not to talk to the media.

The biggest witness in the trial is the DNA expert from South Africa. He is scheduled to testify Friday.

The post Jurors in cold case murder trial admonished to “avoid any media” appeared first on WHEC.com.

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