Riley sentenced to life for murder of girlfriend
Published 8:33 am Sunday, February 17, 2002
By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP
An Atmore man found guilty in the stabbing death of his girlfriend was sentenced to life in prison this week in an Escambia County courtroom.
Riley, who was convicted of murder in December, was sentenced to life in prison after Atmore police officers found his girlfriend, Jomika Williams, dead of multiple stab wounds on New Year's Eve of 2000.
Riley's trial lasted one day and the jury returned a guilty verdict on Dec. 12, 2001.
Prosecutors with the Escambia County District Attorney's Office worked on the case as part of the Domestic Violence Crime Unit. Assistant District Attorney Steve Billy and Reo Kirkland worked on the case.
According to District Attorney Mike Godwin, Riley stabbed Williams with three different weapons. One of those weapons had broken during the crime.
Former Atmore Police Chief Danny McKinley said at the time of the murder that police received a call on the morning of Sunday, Dec. 31, 2000, from 911 dispatch. He said Riley called the emergency number and stated that he had killed his girlfriend. The call came from an apartment at 298 Jack Springs Road.
"When (an officer) arrived, he knocked on the door and was invited in," McKinley said. "Riley did not answer the door but called out to the officer to come in. A female was on the living room floor with a knife sticking out of her chest."
Officers took Riley into custody and McKinley said investigators at the scene felt that Williams had been dead for some time.
After the trial, Billy said the state's case against Riley was clear, despite the sometimes
gruesome evidence that was entered.
"It was a gruesome murder and it was gruesome in the way of evidence. In that respect it was a hard case to try. But, it was a very straight-forward case," Billy said.
The Escambia County Domestic Violence Crime Unit is sponsored by the district attorney's office, the Escambia County Sheriff's Office and the Escambia County Commission. It is funded through a matching grant provided by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.