Man on trial in death of woman at trailer

Published 5:00 am Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Brookhaven man indicated a drug-induced paranoia led to thestrangling death of a Brookhaven woman in July 2006, according to ataped statement heard by a Lincoln County Circuit Court murdertrial jury Wednesday.

Julian C. “Juju” Williams, 34, is accused of the murder ofRhonda Michelle Rushing Mullen, 34, at Louise Blades Trailer Park.Mullen’s naked body was found under the bed in a trailer home atthe park.

The trial began Wednesday and continues today.

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Several witnesses, who lived in the park at the time of theincident and knew both Williams and Mullen, set the scene duringearly testimony. The witnesses testified everyone present the nightof July 14, 2006, had been “partying all day” and using drugs andalcohol.

Some time after midnight, Mullen arrived and joined them. Notlong afterward, Williams and Mullen left together.

Williams later returned “sweaty and acting weird.” No one sawMullen again.

Thomas Black, who rented the trailer where Mullen was found,said he had given the couple permission to use his trailer.

Black discovered Mullen’s body later that morning arounddaybreak. He had returned home and attempted to go to sleep on thebed.

Others kept disturbing him, however, and he couldn’t sleep.

He bent over to knock ashes off his cigarette into an ashtray onthe floor and saw Mullen’s hair. He ran to where the others werestill partying and they called 911.

An audio confession Williams made on July 17, 2006, did notdispute the events leading to Mullen’s death.

He claimed in the tape that he met Mullen that night at thetrailer of one of the witnesses and they agreed to trade sex forcocaine. He said he got her high and then they asked Black if theycould use his trailer.

Afterward, while still naked in the trailer, Mullen demandedmore drugs, according to the confession.

“She got upset because she was going to have to wait while Iwent to get some,” said Williams, who also admitted on tape tousing drugs. “She was upset, but it was like she was holding methere.”

Williams, who was emotional on the tape, said he felt like hewas being delayed and then heard footsteps approaching outside overher yelling. He said he felt he was about to be robbed and grabbedher to keep her quiet so he could determine what was happeningoutside.

“I didn’t put a tight choke hold on her – just enough to keepher quiet until I could find out who was outside,” he said in thetape.

When the footsteps receded, he let her go, put on some pants andrushed outside. After not seeing anyone, he went back inside to getdressed and “check on the girl.”

“She was still kind of breathing, but there were pauses. Thenshe just stopped,” he said. “It looked like she had tried to getup. I guess she was going to try to crawl to the front (of thehouse).”

He said in the confession he sat there for a few minutes “tryingto pull himself together” and became afraid of the consequences. Heput her body under the bed and went back to the party to make itlook like nothing had happened.

He did not stay long, however, because he said he could not keepup the pretense. He went for a walk, during which he came acrossBrookhaven Police Department Officer Marzell Brooks.

Brooks testified earlier he had met Williams that morning and heappeared distraught and uneasy. Brooks said he has known Williamsfor years.

In his confession, Williams also discounted his previous writtenstatement made the morning of the murder. He had pointed the blameat Black in the written statement.

The prosecution was continuing its case Thursday morning andWilliams was expected to testify during the defense portion of thetrial.