JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A man who said he was the suspect in five
killings in a mobile home called a newspaper from jail and said he
wants to plead guilty and be executed.
The man, who identified himself as William Wells, told The
(Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union he was calling to confess. He said
his crimes snowballed after he accidentally shot his wife.
"It turned into a bad situation, but it all started as an accident,"
the man told the newspaper Monday.
Jail officials said they could not confirm Wells made the call, but
the newspaper said it believes the caller was the 27-year-old because
he provided Wells' Social Security number, birth date and the names
of family members.
He also described details of the crimes that matched an unpublished
account given by relatives of calls Wells made during his May 24
standoff with police.
Similar calls were made to two local television stations, WTLV and WJXX.
Wells is accused of fatally shooting his wife, Irene, 30; her
brother, John S. McMains, 32; her father, Bill McMains, 60; and two
acquaintances, James Lee Young, 20, and Richard Reese, 39, over
several days at the couple's home in Mayport, about 15 miles
northeast of Jacksonville.
Police said Wells held his 4-year-old son hostage and kept police at
bay for 12 hours before surrendering.
The caller, crying at times, told the paper he didn't mean to shoot
The caller said he and Irene Wells were estranged and that he had
gone to the house to reconcile. Everything was fine, he said, until
the woman pointed to a gun and said, "This is in case you get stupid."
He said he thought the gun was unloaded because it didn't have a
magazine. He said he put it to Irene Wells' head and squeezed the
trigger, not knowing a bullet was in the chamber.
"She gasped for a breath of air and fell over," he said. "It looked
like I executed her, and I knew it as soon as it happened. I lay on
the floor for quite a few hours in a pool of blood, holding her."
The caller said he sent his stepdaughter to her grandmother's home,
but kept his 4-year-old son with him, saying he "wanted to spend my
last minutes on Earth with my son." He said the children did not know
what had happened.
The caller said he shot Irene Wells' brother and father after they
came to the home separately and became enraged after discovering she
The caller said he shot Reese - who he said was having an affair with
Irene Wells - after inviting him over and smoking marijuana with him.
The caller said he killed Young after he delivered $650 worth of
crack and made a remark about getting a gun and stealing a bag of
The caller said he wants to plead guilty to four charges of
first-degree murder, but hopes prosecutors will accept a guilty plea
to involuntary manslaughter for his wife's death. He also said he
wants to be executed.
"I'm here not to make excuses but to save you, the citizens and
taxpayers of Duval County, the time and money of a long, drawn-out
trial," the caller said.
State Attorney Harry Shorstein said such an offer would be premature.
Shorstein said he will decide whether to seek the death penalty, then
ask Wells' defense lawyers for evidence that could dissuade him.
The caller said he plans to fire his lawyers, who he said were
considering claiming he was mentally ill.
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Chief Assistant Public Defender Bill White said he could not discuss the