Adriene Williams wrote heartfelt message about dead daughter on Facebook, still she was found guilty of murder. She received a 20-40 year prison sentence
A Pittsburgh-area woman who wrote on Facebook that “Mommy loves you, my angel” after her 3-year-old daughter was found dead in a ravine was sentenced Tuesday to 20 to 40 years behind bars for killing her.
Adriene Williams, 27, of Wilkinsburg, rejected a plea bargain that would have sent her to prison for 15 to 30 years. She was convicted at trial in August of third-degree murder and other charges in the death of her daughter, Adrionna.
Williams maintained her innocence Tuesday, but the judge was unmoved and handed down the maximum sentence.
“You took a baby out of safety, put her in harm’s way, then suffocated her,” Allegheny County Judge Anthony Mariani told her.
Adriene Williams seen with daughter Adrionna who she has been convicted of killing
According to the arrest warrant, Adriene Williams who was struggling with the demands of being a single mom, working a security job and going to college to get a criminal justice degree, suffocated her daughter seeking escape from her predicament
She is also alleged to have constantly used a loud voice with daughter Adrionna and told her she didn’t want to play with her the day she took the little girl to her grandmother’s home.
One of the more significant pieces of circumstantial evidence was a notebook Williams kept in her car, in which she wrote: ‘This single parent (****) is stressful, hard as (****). I hate that I’m doing it on my own. I’ve been struggling hard.’
Snuffed out at three: Adrionna was found by a dog walker just before 8 p.m., a mere 40 minutes after she was reported missing. She was lying on her back in a wooded ravine off Chalmers Way in Swissvale
Prosecutors told the court that Williams asphyxiated Adrionna, they never said where or how, before leaving the girl’s body in a wooded area of Swissvale in June 2015.
The defense attorney argued the failure to pinpoint exactly where and how the girl died meant the defendant shouldn’t be convicted. However, the contention of the prosecution that the ‘mountain of circumstantial evidence proved Williams killed the girl’ prevailed.
During the trial Surveillance video and cellphone records submitted in evidence, show Williams drive to and from the area where the girl’s body was found debunking her claim that she drove to work in a different area while the Adrionna was at her grandmother’s house on the day.
Investigators also found several colored paper clips near the body similar to clips later found in Williams’ car. Splotches of mud in her car and uniform shirt matched the area where the body was found as did the little girl’s DNA and stains from the watermelon, the girl was eating just before she was last seen.
Police believe Williams left for work as a security guard only to have the girl follow her out onto the porch. Although nobody saw what happened, Witnesses Adrionna follow her mom out to the porch as Williams was leaving for work. Those present in the home at the time – the girl’s grandmother, aunt and two cousins at the duplex all assumed Williams left for work, police said.
They also recalled that Williams had seemed to be annoyed that her daughter needed help cleaning herself after using the bathroom shortly before Williams was supposed to leave for work.
Prosecutors argued that Williams, a single mother was overwhelmed by the realities single parenting and being a working mother.
“I shouldn’t be holding my grand baby in an urn,” she said Sonja Crosby [Photo], Adrionna’s paternal grandmother as she held a pink urn with a teddy bear on it containing the girl’s ashes after the sentencing.
Adrionna’s body was discovered by a dog walker about 40 minutes after her family reported her missing June 14.
The morning after Adrionna’s body was found, Williams mourned her daughter on Facebook, writing, “Give me my angel back, please” and “Mommy loves you, my angel.” The girl’s death also prompted a march several days later as community leaders decried the crime and asked for the public’s help in finding her killer.
Williams was charged months later.
The prosecution was seeking a first-degree murder conviction of Williams acted out of malice and premeditation, but the jury took four days to decide that Williams acted with malice but no premeditation, returning a third-degree murder conviction.