SAN DIEGO — A not guilty by reason of insanity plea was entered Wednesday by a man accused of fatally stabbing his detective mother and 18-year-old sister in their Rancho Penasquitos home in 2011.
Two doctors were appointed to examine 25-year-old Brian Rockwell Williams, who is charged with murder in the July 18, 2011, deaths of Donna Williams, a veteran San Diego police child-abuse detective, and Briana Williams, a Mount Carmel High School graduate who had planned to attend a San Francisco design college.
If the case goes to trial, Williams would first face a guilt phase, followed by a second phase to determine if he was insane at the time of the killings. If he’s found sane and convicted, he could face 52 years to life in prison.
After Williams’ arraignment in 2011, defense attorney Richard Gates said the defendant had been diagnosed with schizophrenia but had not been undergoing treatment at the time of the murders.
In late June of 2011, officers went to the Williams family home on a call of a disturbance involving the son, according to police.
About 1:15 a.m. on July 18, 2011, residents were awakened by the sounds of a woman screaming. They looked outside to see Briana Williams struggling with her 6-foot, 300-pound brother on the balcony of their home on Paseo Montril, outside her bedroom window, prosecutor Kristen Spieler said.
At one point, Briana was seen hanging from the balcony by her hands and eventually dropped to the pavement below, according to Spieler, who said the defendant was seen calmly walking back into the home.
Within minutes, police arrived and found the defendant in the front yard, standing a few feet from where his sister lay dying, the prosecutor said. Near her body was a bloody knife, Spieler said.
When officers made entry into the home, they found the body of Donna Williams face-down in Briana’s bedroom, the prosecutor said.
The defendant will be back in court April 10 for a status conference.