LaFayette Sun News

Jury finds Lanett man not guilty of killing two-year-old

A Lanett man, who spent five years in jail, endured a mistrial, and refused a plea deal that could have secured his release, has regained his freedom on his terms. Friday morning after a week-long trial, a Chambers County Jury declared Raeshon Williams was not guilty of murdering his girlfriend’s two-year-old child.
On February 24th, 2017, two-year-old B’reeann Avery died of internal injuries. Lanett Police charged Williams with child abuse, then Capital Murder saying he was the only adult with the child when she died. Williams was the live-in boyfriend of the child’s mother, Samia Avery.
After a weeklong trial and multiple witnesses, it took the Chambers County Jury about two hours to return a not guilty verdict. Zach Alsobrook and Andrew Stanley released the following statement after their client was found innocent:
“We are obviously ecstatic. We are extremely grateful to the jury for seeing the truth in the darkness. Raeshon proclaimed his innocence for six and a half years and remained humble and steadfast in his truth. We can take no credit for his refusal to take a no-jail plea prior to trial. He said he could never look his baby girls in the eye again if he admitted to something he did not do and he stood in the fire of a prosecution that never should have happened. This was also a victory for Bree’ann Avery. That angel shines on and her justice hopefully will be found in the near future.”
This was the second trial in the Capital Murder case, following a mistrial in May of this year due to jury misconduct. Willaims was offered a plea deal that would allow him to go free, but he would have to admit to the murder. He refused.
Prosecutors maintain Williams was the only person with the two-year-old B’reeann Avery when their expert testified she was beaten, with force similar to a car crash, rupturing her spleen and liver.
Williams’ defense told jurors the state’s time of injury and death is wrong, and the police had tunnel vision and did a shoddy investigation.
B’reeann’s mother, Samia Avery testified the child was happy and healthy in the hours before her death, and when Williams called her at work saying B’reeann wasn’t breathing he wasn’t upset. But the defense pointed out that her testimony and statements to police didn’t match up, in a written statement she said Williams was upset.
Alsobrook says his client has been behind bars for the majority of the last five years, at first not able to get a bond in the Capital Murder case. The Capital Murder trial kept getting delayed, even after a judge ordered a speedy trial on two occasions. Williams was given a bond in 2022, but violated terms and was placed back in custody in October 2022. The trial was supposed to start on Halloween in 2022 but was again delayed. The judge gave Williams a new bond, and he has been out.
Chambers County District Attorney Mike Segrest says he is committed to addressing a backlog of cases.
“This has always been a tough case based on circumstantial evidence. I took office in January and made getting this case tried a priority. It’s a 2017 case that needed to be tried for both the victim’s family and defendant. The facts were presented fairly and accurately and a Chambers county jury reached a verdict of not guilty. I respect the Constitution and therefore I will always respect that decision,” said Segrest.

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