Defense reopens case in Donald Williams murder trial, calls suspect's brother to testify

Defense reopens case in trial, calls suspect's brother

READING, Pa. - Closing arguments in the Berks County murder trial of Donald Williams were delayed Tuesday morning when Williams' attorney decided to call another witness.

Marvin Williams, the defendant's brother, testified about the claims Donald Williams made in his testimony Monday that he found Marvin and Donald's former girlfriend, Maria Serrano, partially clothed, in the basement of Serrano's home on June 25, 2009.

Donald Williams admitted on the witness stand that he snapped and started throwing punches at Marvin. Serrano yelled for them to stop, and when she intervened, she was hit in the face several times and fell to the floor.

Donald testified that a fire then erupted in the basement, burning Serrano, who died in a hospital six weeks later.

Marvin indicated to the jury Tuesday that he was never at Serrano's house on June 25. Instead, he said, he was at his sister's home in Philadelphia. Marvin also testified that, at the time, he was dating a woman who is now his wife, and he denied having a sexual relationship with Serrano.

Prosecutors claim Donald Williams broke in to Serrano's home, dragged her out of the shower, stabbed her with a screwdriver and raped her. Opening statements revealed she was then dragged down into her basement, where she was doused with gasoline and set on fire.

Attorneys presented their closing arguments after the lunch recess. The jury then began its deliberations shortly before 4 p.m. and continued about 90 minutes before breaking for the day. Deliberations will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Williams is facing a possible death sentence if he is convicted.

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