Did This Florida Woman Plot Her Husband's 2000 Murder With His Best Friend?

By Inside Edition Staff
Copyright (c) 2018 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

When Mike Williams vanished without a trace on a duck hunting trip in 2000, it was feared he had been eaten by alligators. 

What actually happened could be much stranger. 

Williams' best friend, Brian Winchester, claims he shot him at the urging of Williams' wife, Denise Williams, with whom Winchester was having an affair. Denise is now on trial in Florida for her husband's murder after his body was found in 2017.

The case is a bizarre one of an apparent love triangle gone horribly wrong. A year after he disappeared, Mike was declared dead by accidental drowning.

Denise and Winchester, who'd been having an affair for years before Mike's death, eventually married in 2005, but things went south and they split in 2012, divorcing in 2015. 

Winchester was arrested in 2016 after kidnapping Denise at gunpoint. It was while he was in custody that police began looking into Mike's death again. 

After being sentenced to 20 years in prison for kidnapping, Winchester dropped a bombshell: He said he killed Mike — and that he did so at Denise's urging. The motive? He claims love, and three life insurance policies worth $1.75 million.

Now, Denise is on trial for Mike's murder, with Winchester testifying against her in exchange for immunity. 

"He was in the water and as I passed by, I shot him," Winchester recalled on the stand. "... As long as neither one of us talked ... nobody would ever find out what happened."

But when their marriage fell apart, so did their alleged pact. "Things just basically, like, went to hell with me and Denise," said Winchester, weeping on the stand as he remembered shooting his best friend. 

Denise's lawyers insist she is innocent and say she was unaware of Winchester's plans to kill her husband. If convicted, Denise faces life in prison. 

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