Express News (San Antonio, Texas), October 5, 1998

Abused teen to stand trial as an adult in murder case
By Matt Flores, Express-News Staff Writer

A 16-year-old was certified Monday to stand trial as an adult on murder charges in the shooting death of his mother's boyfriend in July.

Eric Williams was transferred to an adult detention facility after a 2 1/2-hour hearing before State District Judge Carmen Kelsey, who set Williams' bond at $50,000.

Williams is accused of shooting Thomas Kirkwood, 29, in the back of the head July 24.

According to police, the two argued in the front yard of their home in the 4100 block of Dakota Sun before the shooting.

Defense attorney Cornelius Cox argued that Williams himself had suffered physical abuse at the hands of Kirkwood, who'd been living with Williams and his mother. Cox also said Williams had no juvenile record.

Williams' mother, Shirley, testified earlier that she and Kirkwood frequently argued and that, on at least six occasions, she called police to her home. In some cases, she continued, Kirkwood became physical and once used a gun to threaten her.

But prosecutor Jane Davis cited Williams' record of escalating bad behavior in school and his alleged involvement with a gang as reasons for transferring his case to an adult court.

On the day of the shooting, Davis noted, Kirkwood gathered many of his belongings -- and several items he'd given family members as gifts -- and was moving out of the house. Among the items was Williams' video game player.

"The key thing is this time he was taking Eric's stuff," Davis said.

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