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Parents of victim seek custody of children

March 30, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - The parents of a Maugansville woman killed in February are seeking custody of her two children, alleging her estranged husband is unfit, according to a complaint filed last week in Washington County Circuit Court.

Mary Elizabeth Williams, 34, the mother of the 6-year-old and 4-year-old, was shot to death outside her 13915 Maugansville Road home at about 7:50 a.m. on Feb. 8 as she was being picked up for work by First Data co-worker and friend Christopher Hobart.

Her estranged husband's nephew, Ricky Rinaldo Stallings Jr., 23, faces 16 charges, including first-degree murder, in connection with her death. Trial dates for Stallings have not been set in Washington County Circuit Court.

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The complaint for custody was filed March 21 by Williams' parents, Thomas and Elizabeth Malek, through their attorney, Dana Moylan.

L. Richard Williams, when reached by phone Tuesday, said, "I have no comment at all" about the allegations contained in the complaint. He said, "it is my intention" to fight for custody of the children.

The Maleks, who list their address as Mary Williams' 13915 Maugansville Road address, allege in the complaint that L. Richard Williams "is not a fit and proper parent to have custody of the minor children." They cited a few occasions on which they alleged he did not properly take care of the children or displayed anger toward Mary Williams over custody.

The Maleks, originally from North Carolina, have been caring for the children since Mary Williams' death, according to the complaint.

A consent order was signed Tuesday by Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley ordering the appointment of attorney Patricia Patton to represent the interest of the children, according to court records.

On the day of Mary Williams' death, L. Richard Williams was scheduled to appear in court for a hearing on a violation of probation charge related to a protective order. The charge alleged he crossed state lines on Oct. 24, 2004, to go to Hobart's house on a day that Williams was there visiting, according to the complaint and court records.

Hobart and Williams were the only two witnesses to the alleged violation, according to the complaint.

Attached to the complaint is a detailed log that was kept by Mary Williams of court dates and encounters with L. Richard Williams, from whom she had filed for divorce on July 27, 2004, according to the complaint and court records.

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