Day four: State, defense rests their case in Marian Williams trial

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Melissa Montoya
Published: Updated:

Day four of the trial for a woman accused of lighting a fire that killed three boys in Arcadia is underway.

Marian Williams will not take the stand.

Williams, 49, is accused of killing 8-year-old Kiani Clark, 10-year-old Marcus Clark, and 4-year-old Kemaren Clark in 2017 after setting a home on fire that was owned by her ex-boyfriend Arnold Mele, the boy’s grandfather.

Prosecutors rested their case on Thursday at around 10:30 a.m. after jurors listened to the testimony from Medical Examiner Dr. Phoutthasone Thirakul who spoke about the condition of the bodies of the three children found inside the burned-down home.

Marcus Clark, 10, Kiani Clark, 8, and Kemaren Clark, 4, were killed on Saturday after the home they were in was set on fire. The children’s grandfather’s ex-girlfriend is accused of setting the blaze.

The three boys died of smoke inhalation and the autopsy showed they were alive as they burned, Thirakul said.

“He had what we call a pugilistic pose which is a fighting stance like this which happens with severe thermal burns due to muscle contractions,” Thirakul said of Kiani.

Some of the jurors cried as they heard descriptions of what happened to the three boys.

The judge denied a request for a judgment of acquittal from the defense team, who said there is insufficient evidence in the case.

Defense attorneys called Mele to the stand and asked him to clarify statements he made during his testimony to jurors that did not match his deposition.

Mele said his mind is not clear so there are some things he can’t remember.

The defense argued Williams was never in the home and not responsible for the fire.

The defense also put Williams’ 15-year-old granddaughter on the stand who said Williams was asleep next to her in the same bed.

Prosecutors tried to say that from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. the granddaughter didn’t know where Williams was.

“She was right next to me,” the teen said.

The teen said she and her grandmother woke up together at 6 a.m. when police came knocking on her door.

The prosecution argued another witness saw Williams at a party at 1:30 a.m. the night of the fire and therefore could not have been with the granddaughter at the same time.

The jury is expected to begin deliberating on Friday.


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