Weatherford Democrat

Local News

June 22, 2012

Man gets 10 years for shooting brother-in-law

PARKER COUNTY — A Weatherford man was convicted of manslaughter Tuesday and sentenced to 10 years in prison in the 2010 shooting death of his brother-in-law.

Robert Edward Williams III, 54, who was arrested and indicted on a charge of murder, pleaded guilty Tuesday to the second-degree felony charge of manslaughter for killing his sister’s husband, Kenneth “Kenny” Ray Lackey, 50, of Weatherford.

The incident occurred around 1 a.m. on May 16, 2010, after Lackey, his wife and Williams returned home to their residence in the 3800 block of Franko Switch Road northwest of Weatherford after a party in Fort Worth.

Lackey was intoxicated and the two men verbally argued on the way home about Williams living with his sister, not having a job or paying rent, according to Assistant District Attorney Robert DuBoise.

At the house, Lackey threatened to kill his wife and Williams, DuBoise said.

As Lackey attempted to go after her, Lackey’s wife ran out the back door with the couple’s .22-caliber rifle, DuBoise said.

Williams told investigators that Lackey then turned and began walking toward him, telling Williams that he was going to beat him up, according to DuBoise.

Williams said he told Lackey he had a gun in his left hand and a magazine in his right, DuBoise said, adding that he loaded the gun and shot Lackey in the abdomen, later claiming he didn’t want to kill him.

The injury was a contact wound, meaning the handgun was held against him, DuBoise said. The .9-millimeter hollow-point round eviscerated Lackey’s liver.

Williams then yelled outside to his sister to call 911, that he had just shot Lackey.

On the 911 tape, Williams can be heard trying to care for his brother-in-law and telling him not to die.

Lackey was flown to a Fort Worth hospital, where he was pronounced dead around 3 a.m.

Prosecutors found a history of Lackey physically assaulting Williams and, after getting further into it and talking with the family, decided that manslaughter was an appropriate fit, Duboise said.

Williams’ court-appointed attorney, Michael Maloney, said Lackey had a history of “violent tendencies, a bad temper, bullying and drunkeness.”

“He was going to defend himself,” Maloney said of Williams.

Had the case been presented to a jury, Maloney said they would have argued that, though Lackey was not armed, he used deadly force against Williams in the past by choking him.

Though Williams did intend to shoot Lackey, Maloney said he didn’t believe Williams intended to kill him.

“I believe he just intended to stop him,” Maloney said.

“It’s a bad deal,” DuBoise said of the case. “There are no winners.”

Lackey had received 10 years deferred adjudication in 1996 on an aggravated assault charge and was arrested and indicted again in 1998 on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against a family member, according to DuBoise. The 2008 case was ultimately dismissed due to insufficient evidence.

A murder conviction requires a finding that Williams intentionally and knowingly killed him while manslaughter requires he recklessly shot him knowing it could lead to death, DuBoise said.

Lackey’s family was supportive of the manslaughter decision and understood the difficulties of getting a murder conviction, he said. Williams also had no prior felony convictions and was eligible for probation.

Williams, who has spent more than two years in the Parker County Jail, would be eligible for parole after serving a total of five years.

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