Denise Williams sentenced to life in prison for husband's murder

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - A Tallahassee woman was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday morning for masterminding the murder of her husband more than 18 years ago. If not for the dead man’s mother, justice would not have happened.

Denis Williams has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering her husband Mike Williams (pictured) 18 years ago.

For 17 years, Michael Williams' body laid in a watery grave 70 miles from where the duck hunter supposedly went missing. His mother Cheryl says God sent her a message days later when she visited the lake.

"And all of sudden a voice comes in my head, 'Mike is not in Lake Seminole, he did not drown,'” she said.

Police believed Mike Willaims was eaten by alligators. But after the message, Cheryl launched a campaign to find her son. She carried placards, put up billboards, and took out full-page newspaper ads.

On Wednesday justice was finally done.

“If I had not done what I had done for 17 years, Mike’s disappearance would never have been solved," Cheryl said.

Michael Williams' wife Denise was sent to prison for masterminding his murder by his best friend, who was also her lover. The motive? One point seven million dollars in insurance and a desire not to face the stigma of divorce.

“She can never get out on parole. That's justice, and that’s what I wanted. That's what I’ve been fighting for," said Cheryl.

Like most tombstones, Jerry Michael Williams' lists his October 1969 birthday, but that’s where the similarity to other tombstones ends. It also lists the day he was murdered and then buried 18 years later.

Cheryl says friends tried to talk her our of including those dates. But she said, “He didn't die a normal life. He didn’t die of sickness or accident. He was murdered.”

And because of her efforts, Cheryl is now being asked to help find other missing victims across the country.