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Morgan County capital murder defendant denies killing, says he was in Madison

Williams

DECATUR – Capital murder defendant Zachary Bernard Williams told police in a videotaped interrogation that was played for Morgan County jurors Tuesday that he was innocent of the shooting death of Michael Irvin Jr. in Irvin’s Decatur home. Williams said he was in Madison at the time of the shooting.

“I’ll go to jail. I’ll prove my innocence in court,” said Williams near the end of a 40-minute video filmed in April 2019, more than a month after the 30-year-old Irvin was found dead in the laundry room of his Marion Street Southwest home. “I’m tired of talking about it. I’m through.”

Decatur police investigators Detective Sean Mukaddam and Sgt. Mike Burleson told Williams during the taped interview that several people had been interviewed, including co-defendant Ulysses Ke’Andre Wilkerson, and the witnesses named Williams as a suspect.

Williams, 33, said the night before the early morning shooting in February 2019 he and his girlfriend, who lived in Madison, ate at Applebee’s before going back to her home.

“I was in Madison when Dooney was killed,” Williams said, using Irvin’s nickname. “I was near the police station there on Hughes Road. When I left her home, I got a call about 4 in the morning saying Dooney was killed.”

Mukaddam testified Tuesday, the second day of testimony, that police had no leads until DNA on a roll of duct tape found on the floor of the foyer in Irvin’s home led them to Wilkerson, now 22.

At a preliminary hearing in April 2019, Irvin’s longtime live-in girlfriend, Leslie Huaracha, said the duct tape did not belong in the house.

In the videotaped interrogation, Mukaddam said Wilkerson and others told them that Williams killed Irvin. “They pointed to you saying you shot Dooney,” he said.

“I was not with Fat. Period. He’s lying,” Williams said, using Wilkerson’s nickname. “I was with my girl. They’re all lying about everybody. These folks on the street will say anything. It’s crazy. Those people will say anything.”

“I heard somebody killed him,” Williams said early in the video. “I have no details. Dooney was a good dude.”

Williams told them he and Irvin “gambled together” and he last saw Irvin “a couple of days before he died.”

Burleson urged Williams to give “his side of the story … . Don’t let Fat tell your story. His DNA was in the house on duct tape with a dead guy. He has a role in this to some degree. He wants to put it all on you. He’s trying to throw the whole weight on you.”

During the investigation, Wilkerson denied involvement in the murder, but told police he might have touched the duct tape while it was in Williams’ car. Wilkerson also denied being in Decatur at the time of the shooting, but later changed his story, Mukaddam testified.

Williams, like Wilkerson, faces three counts of capital murder. One is for murder in the presence of a child, one is for murder during the commission of a burglary and one is for murder during the commission of a theft. If convicted, their sentences will either be life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

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