Scott Williams was convicted of malice murder and other
crimes in connection with the shooting death of Adiren
Thompson. Williams appeals and argues that the trial
court erred in: (1) denying his motion to shuffle the jury
pool; (2) excluding evidence supporting his claim of
self-defense; (3) denying his motion for a mistrial when the
State questioned him about allegations of jury tampering by a
third party; and (4) failing to charge the jury on
involuntary manslaughter. Williams also argues that (5) his
trial counsel was ineffective. We affirm because the court
was not required to shuffle the jury pool, any error in
excluding the evidence in support of Williams's
self-defense claim was harmless, the court's instruction
to the jury cured the prejudicial effect of any improper
questioning, the evidence did not support a jury charge on
involuntary manslaughter, and Williams has failed to show
that trial counsel was ineffective.
in the light most favorable to the verdict, the trial
evidence showed the following. Williams and Thompson were
friends until Williams went to prison and Thompson started
dating Williams's wife Chassity. Chassity divorced
Williams in early 2010 while he was still incarcerated. When
Williams was released from prison later that year, he showed
considerable animosity toward Chassity and Thompson. In April
2010, he visited Chassity's home to retrieve some
personal belongings, told her that she "wasn't going
to be with" Thompson, and destroyed her cell phone.
Williams at some point told Chassity that he did not want to
see Thompson and preferred that she handle any custodial
exchange of their son J. T. Chassity married Thompson in late
early June 2013, a visit between J. T. and Williams increased
tensions. On June 1, Williams and Chassity exchanged heated
text messages about Williams taking J. T. to get a haircut.
next day, Chassity and Thompson went to pick up J. T. at
Williams's home, parking their car on the lawn. Chassity
sent a text to Williams to send out J. T. After they left,
Williams and Chassity exchanged the following text
Williams: Ya disrespectful ass. I'm not even gone feed
into that. But tell him when he ready for that gangsta s**t
get at me. We can get it popping. Coach J.
Chassity: [W]hat are you talking about[?]. He pulled in the
grass so [J. T.] wouldn't get wet.
Williams: If you bring him or send him back over here, I put
that on his brother D Rock. I'm going to change his life
forever. Play with it and think it's [a game]. Coach J.
testified that she interpreted Williams's reference to
Thompson's brother "D Rock, " who was dead, as
a threat to put Thompson in the grave with his brother. When
Chassity responded that Thompson took care of their son while
Williams had not and that Williams should be "stepping
up to the plate, " the following exchange occurred:
Williams: I'm through talking. You got the message.
Chassity: [A]'int nobody scared of you. You don't put
no fear in my heart. The only thing I fear is my god, and you
best do the same. Now you and yours have a good night and we
Williams: Get you [a] lot on standby. Pick you [a] good
preacher. Try me. I pray you do.
Chassity: I promise you, all I have to do is pray and
you'll be in the worst predicament of your life. It
happens every time.
Williams: You can't touch me. F**k, n***a, I don't
worship the devil. If you keep playing, I'm a ...