BRICK – A woman facing murder charges got her case downgraded to manslaughter after prosecutors determined she acted in self defense.
Ciara Williams, 27, of Brick pled guilty to Reckless Manslaughter on July 2. She faces sentencing on Sept. 4, and the State will be seeking five years in prison.
“Although Ms. Williams was originally facing more significant charges with greater sentencing exposure, legitimate self-defense claims arose during the course of our investigation which we simply could not ignore, and which we were required to take into account in evaluating this very difficult case,” Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer stated. “The claims of self-defense, combined with considerable proof problems led to this resolution which we believe to be just and reasonable after careful consideration of the facts under circumstances.”
Williams had turned herself in to authorities after the fatal stabbing of Sept. 29. Police said she had been involved in a heated argument with her fiancé Dennis Power, 35, and stabbed him in the chest and then left him in a parking lot at Ocean Medical Center in Brick.
Williams had left Power unconscious but breathing according to police. Despite efforts to save him he died shortly afterward.
Authorities searched the Brick Garden Apartment complex as the scene of the crime.
Her attorney, Alton Kenney stated that Williams had acted in self-defense and that she had sustained facial injuries during the fight with Power. The photo taken of her being booked at the Ocean County Jail showed her with bruises and swelling around her eye.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledged the diligence of Senior Assistant Prosecutors Kristin Pressman and Mara Brater who handled the case on behalf of the State. Prosecutor Billhimer likewise extended his gratitude to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Brick Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit for their collective assistance.