(File photo) William Williams

(File photo) William Williams

Jury selection began Tuesday in the trial of William R. Williams, who is accused of hitting his wife in the head with an ax, then leaving her bleeding in bed while he went to work. Dozens of potential jurors arrived at the Tuscola County Courthouse to go through the selection process.

The trial for Williams, 60, of Indianfields Township, was originally scheduled to commence in late November, but was postponed after new evidence surfaced. The trial is expected to last four days.

Williams is accused of hitting his 57-year-old wife in the head with the blade of an ax in the early morning hours of May 26. Officials allege that he then worked a shift at his job at Palace Sports & Entertainment at Meadow Brook Amphitheatre in Rochester Hills.

At about 5:15 p.m. on May 26, about 14 hours after his wife’s injury had been inflicted, troopers from the Michigan State Police Caro Post responded to a home invasion complaint at Williams’ residence, at 1850 Mertz Road (M-24) in Indianfields Township. They found his wife, still lying in bed, clinging to life with a large laceration on her head.

Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark Reene, who is prosecuting the case, alleges that Williams hit his wife with the blade side of a “splitting maul” ax, which was described by investigating officers as part sledgehammer and part ax, and leaving her lying in bed for 14 hours. Reene said that when Williams returned home from work, he damaged the home to make it look like an intruder had broken in and was responsible for the attack.

Williams’ wife suffered a skull fracture and was listed in critical condition for months after the attack. Her present condition is not known.

Williams has pleaded not guilty to the six felony charges he faces – assault with intent to murder, which carries a possible life sentence, four counts of lying to a police officer investigating a felony and one count of  false report of a felony. The latter five counts carry a potential four-year prison sentence.

During Williams’ July 10 preliminary exam, Detective Sgt. Jeffrey Hook, of the MSP Caro Post, testified that “(Williams) related that he and his wife… became involved in an argument over a female because he had given this female money.”

Reene added at the preliminary hearing that the 31-year-old woman Williams reported providing money to was not a relative of the Williams family, adding that Williams’ connection to the woman “was not an altruistic situation.”

Williams, who is being defended by Caro attorney Gregory Bringard, does not have a criminal record. At his May arraignment, Reene told Tuscola County Magistrate Joseph Van Auken that prior to Williams’ arrest, which occurred the day after the assault, Williams “did make admissions in regards to his conduct here.”