Alleged affair led to murder, officials say

Feb 12, 2016

A 70-year-old Wareham man was shot dead in his home last week and a 70-year-old Berkley man has been charged with murder, in what police describe as a killing prompted by the victim’s alleged affair with the suspect’s since deceased girlfriend.

John Witty was arraigned Friday in the gunshot killing of John Williams at Williams’ home at 120 Glen Charlie Road. He was charged with the death of Williams.

Williams’ body was discovered on the afternoon of Tuesday, Feb. 9, after police received a call for a “welfare check” on Williams.

Witty was arrested on Friday morning. Police said evidence at the Glen Charlie Road house and data on the GPS in Witty’s car placed him at the scene of the crime.

In police reports detailed at Friday’s arraignment, attorney for the Commonwealth Joe Janezic said a preliminary investigation found a total of 10 gunshot wounds to the head and back, as well as stab wounds on his hands, which Janezic said were consistent with defensive wounds. Investigators found two live rounds of ammunition and six spent cases, belonging to a 9mm handgun.

Janezic said a partially-consumed bottle of beer at the crime scene led the police to Witty, who was arrested Friday morning. They also found 24 rounds of live ammunition, two of which belonged to a 9mm handgun Witty said he had sold, and which matched the ammunition found at the crime scene. They did not find the handgun at the scene of the crime, or at Witty’s house.

According to Janezic, Witty said he went “on a joyride” to New Jersey, after he found out about the affair, and denied having been to the victim’s house on Feb. 8 or Feb. 9. However, a search warrant for Witty’s GPS revealed he had been to Williams’ house several times over the course of those two days.

Janezic said preliminary forensics also revealed human blood on both Witty’s hands, and his truck. He also said police found a partially-consumed 24-pack of Beck’s beer.

In a press conference after Friday’s arraignment in Wareham District Court, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz said Witty and Williams knew each other from amateur radio clubs in which they were both involved. Cruz would not say how Witty found out about the supposed relationship.

“It was not random … and it was done because of jealousy,” Cruz said.

Cruz said the DA’s office and police will continue to work the crime scene, and other suspect areas.

“We don’t have a play-by-play of what happened,” Cruz said. “Eventually, we will. … Nobody deserves to die that way, especially when … you are a 70-year-old man, in your own home.”

Several residents, some asking to remain unidentified, reported a heavy police presence in the area Tuesday. None reported knowing Williams.

“It was a shock,” said one woman who has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years.

Jim Munise, another Glen Charlie Road resident, lives approximately 100 yards from where Williams was shot.

“That something like that would happen is troubling,” Munise said. “Desperate people do desperate things.”

Witty’s defense attorney Louis Badwey entered a not guilty plea. Witty will be held without bail, and Janezic also motioned to hire a private investigator.

Witty’s next court date is March 14.