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Woman pleads guilty to beating husband to death with hammer

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Mark and Donna Rae Williams. (Photo: KPTV)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KPTV/Portland) — Saying “I chose to do something horrible that day,” a Vancouver woman pleaded guilty Thursday to beating her husband to death with a hammer while he slept.

Police arrested Donna Rae Williams in May 2012 after she called 911 and admitted bludgeoning Mark Williams while he slept.

Williams, 52, was brought into the courtroom in handcuffs and shackles Thursday to change her plea to guilty on a charge of aggravated murder.

She then made an emotional apology.

“I chose to do something horrible that day. I had choices I could have made. I should have made different choices. I should have made a better choice that day and I didn’t. And because I didn’t, I will have to live in jail for the rest of my life. So be it. But I want you all to know that I love you all,” she said.

Investigators said Williams called 911 on May 30, 2012, to report she’d beaten her husband to death with a hammer 14 days earlier.

According to court documents, Donna Rae Williams said she became enraged after her husband punched her in the face and she saw the bruises.


Investigators said after a few blows with the hammer, Mark Williams was still breathing. She then went to the convenience store and returned to find her husband still alive, so she attacked him again.

Donna Rae Williams was sentenced immediately after changing her plea Thursday. She will spend 25 years in prison, with credit for time served.


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