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Graphic testimony in the Tasheonia Hills murder trial

Witnesses described in graphic details the brutal manner in which Irene Williams was killed in 2017, on Wednesday in Oneida County Court.

Posted: Dec. 5, 2018 6:47 PM
Updated: Dec. 5, 2018 6:51 PM

UTICA, NY-- Witnesses described in graphic details the brutal manner in which Irene Williams was killed in 2017, on Wednesday in Oneida County Court.

Tasheonia Hills, 26, is accused of killing Williams, her mother, on Feb. 6, 2017.

Maynard Anken, a police officer with the Utica Police Department, was one of the first officers on the scene. He testified that he worn a body camera and recorded video placing Hills under arrest. The video was played in court and a cousin of Hills could be heard screaming "Why did you do this," and "You killed my cousin over money."

Another Utica police officer, Anthony Aurience, who collected evidence and took pictures of the crime scene also testified. The prosecution showed those pictures in court. In one photo Williams is unrecognizable with one of her eyes missing and surrounded in a pool of blood. Hills could be seen crying with her hands covering her face during this part of the testimony.

Sophia Rodriguez, a forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy on Williams, also testified. Rodriguez explained that the body had to be X-rayed to determine the identity of the victim. She said the wounds to the neck were 'gaping' and she could see the tissue inside. She said victim's lips were no longer their normal structure and part of the victim's tongue was found on her clothing. She said Williams had injuries to her face, hands, head, legs, buttocks and back and some of those injuries were after she had died.

On cross examination the defense asked several of the victims about the weather at the time of the murder and how Hills was dressed.

Both Anken and Aurience said it was cold out that day in February. Hills was wearing a knee length dress, a jean jacket and sneakers with no socks.

The prosecution also mentioned that a bloodied pair of scissors with hair on it was found as well as two pens also covered in blood.

One of the pens had the Turning Stone Resort and Casino logo on it. Witnesses have said Hills and her mother fought over Willams' gambling problem.

The defense asked Aurience if a candle was visible in the room of the murder, he confirmed it was.

The defense claims Hills thought her mother was evil at the time of the murder and a candle was telling her what to do.

Testimony continues at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

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