Temptation in Texas

Sex, bondage, affairs and murder -- who killed a brilliant-but-feared Texas businessman?

Produced by Alec Sirken and Ryan Smith

(CBS) KELLER, Texas -- Michele Williams' idyllic life with her husband, Greg, died in the early morning hours of Oct. 13, 2011.

911 operator: What is your emergency?

Michele Williams: Oh my god!

911 operator: Take a deep breath.

Michele Williams: My husband was just shot. Somebody was in the house!

"You're screaming to the 911 operator that something terrible has happened to your husband," "48 Hours" correspondent Peter Van Sant noted to Michele Williams.

"There's an intruder," she said of the call, overcome with emotion. "'Please help. Please help.'"

It didn't take long for investigators in Keller, Texas, to discover Greg Williams was a complicated man with many complicated relationships, even with the ones he loved -- including his third wife, Michele.

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Michele and Greg Williams
Claire St. Amant

"He was a kind of guy that you either love or you hate," Michele explained. "He took me from day one and put me on an untouchable pedestal. Nobody's ever treated me that way. We went on vacations ... he was like my knight in shining armor."

But at the same time, Michele says, "He was a jerk. And I know viewers are going to hate that ... When I say he was a jerk, he was a bully. He verbally abused everybody he knew."

Kathy Williams was Greg's first wife, married to him for 10 years. She also says Greg made a double-edged impression.

"And what did you think of this guy when you first met him?" Van Sant asked Kathy Williams.

"I thought he was an ass----," she replied.

Asked why, Kathy told Van Sant, "Because he was just so cocky."

"What did you fall in love with?" Van Sant asked. "There had to be some redeeming qualities."

"His heart. He had the biggest heart. He would see a homeless man on the street and offer to take him into a cafe and buy him food," Kathy replied.

Greg could be very generous, like the time when he bought Michele her own yogurt shop to run. She hired her nephews, Tyler and Trayce, who idolized Greg.

"I loved Greg to death. He was a cool dude. He was funny. He used to just play jokes and stuff. Some people thought he was vulgar and just like -- but that was his personality. He was a funny guy, he was a hard worker," said Tyler.

Michele says that loving Greg came with some unusual conditions, where he sometimes cracked the whip.

Michele says Greg was so into the bondage/domination lifestyle, he opened a club called 247.

"This is Greg's fantasy world," Michele explained. "Greg was very into this."

"He liked a little kink in his life," said Kathy.

"Did he want you to participate with him?" Van Sant asked Michele.

"Yes," she replied. "He wanted a dominant woman. He wanted to be submissive in that world because he was so dominant in the rest of the world."

"Could it have been someone from that world, was angry with Greg for some reason, that could have come in and shot him?" Van Sant asked.

"I believe it was someone who was jealous and angry. But I don't believe it's from that world," Michele replied.

Lee O'Brien, Michele's oldest son, worked for Greg at the computer consulting business he ran out of his home.

"Did you hate Greg?" Van Sant asked Lee.

"Yeah. Yeah, I did," he replied. "He could cut you down. He could belittle you to the point where you would almost question yourself. And he did that to everyone."

But everyone says Greg's hard-charging personality fueled his success.

"He was a genius, he really was. He was a salesman. He could sell anything to anybody," said Michele.

Greg adored their 4-year-old daughter, Makayla. He had another daughter, Taylor, from his first marriage to Kathy.

"Essentially, I lost my protector, the person that I could always go to when I was upset," said Taylor Williams.

Taylor lived part-time with Michele and Greg for several years, and that led to bad blood between Michele and Kathy.

"She's nasty. She's just a money grubbing piece of crap," Kathy said of Michele.

Michele says Kathy had her own reasons to hate Greg.

"He would drag her out of our house by her arm. She would say 'No my daughter's here.' She sat down with her arms crossed and said, 'So I get to stay,'" said Michele.

"Michele says Greg despised you," Van Sant commented to Kathy.

"That's not true," she replied.

"Can I say this on T.V.?" Michele asked with a laugh. "I -- I do not like her."

But Michele had her own rocky family ties. Over the years she became estranged from her sons -- Lee and his younger brother Andrew -- from earlier relationships.

"She's very selfish. She only does things for other people if it benefits her. It's never about anyone else," said Andrew O'Brien.

And with all of those tangled family relationships, police questioned multiple people who may have had a motive to pull the trigger.

"Did you do this or not?" Van Sant asked Lee O'Brien.

"No," Lee replied. "No."

"Did you kill Greg?"

"No I did not kill Greg," Lee replied.

"Did you go in there get his gun and shoot him in the head?" Van Sant pressed.

"No," said Lee.

WHO SHOT GREG WILLIAMS?

In the weeks before Greg's brutal death, the good life Michele Williams had always dreamed of was only getting better.

"We were very happy together," she said. "We were about to close on a house in two days. ... We were designing a new pool for Makayla to play in. And everything was awesome."

But before Greg, Michele's life had been -- right from her teenage years -- a series of bad turns, and according to her, bad men.

"I was 17 when I got pregnant with my first son," she said.

By the age of 24, Michele had three children -- two boys and a girl by two different men. Then, a second marriage. But Michele says that all her relationships before Greg ended because the men cheated on her. She cites just one example.

"Had an affair on me with a 17-year-old dental assistant girl who, to this day, remembers it quite well," Michele said of a past relationship.

"She would tell you that her husbands were the ones that were cheating on her," journalist Claire St. Amant of CultureMap Dallas explained, "but you talk to anyone else and that's not the story.

St. Amant, a consultant to "48 Hours", interviewed Michele's second husband.

"... he'd received tips from neighbors that strange men would frequent the house when he was away at work ... And in the course of one afternoon, he heard evidence that Michele was having sex with two different men in their house," said St. Amant.

"What do you say to the allegation that you have never been faithful to any of your husbands?" Van Sant asked Michele.

"I say that's an absolute lie," she replied.

One person who says Michele is absolutely wrong is her youngest son, Andrew O'Brien, who says he had a front row seat to all the infidelity.

"And she cheated on my dad, got remarried to another man, cheated on him, left him for another man, cheated on him and then got with Greg," Andrew told "48 Hours".

"Are you a man-eater, Michele?" Van Sant asked.

"No. No," Michele replied with a laugh. "I like to be in a relationship. I like to be loved."

"You mean you like to be in another relationship and then you like to be in another relationship?"

"I like to be in a relationship where someone is faithful and honest and helps take care of me," Michele explained.

"Are all these people lying about you or are you lying to me?" Van Sant asked Michele.

"They're lying. They're feeding off each other, it's like junior high school," she said.

In the early years, as Michele moved from one man to the next, so did her children. Lee and Andrew O'Brien lived through it all.

"We were constantly moving, every two years, to a different trailer, hotel rooms, apartments, houses. We were just constantly jumping around, she was never really a mom," said Andrew.

"That became a very cyclical thing, just moving constantly," said Lee.

"And you guys were being dragged around?" Van Sant asked.

"Yes," said Lee.

Asked what that was like, Lee said it was "rough."

"You don't wanna get too settled in one place because you don't know when things are gonna change," Lee told Van Sant.

But years later, Michele struck gold when she married Greg Williams.

"We were in an $800,000 house," she said. "He was a successful businessman."

"He had a Mercedes in the garage -" Van Sant noted.

"Two, yes," Michele replied. "We got them for our anniversary together."

But Michele's fanciful life came to a sudden end in their home. She says she was sleeping on a couch in the living room with her daughter, Makayla, when in the middle of the night a sudden noise woke her up. She made her way to the master bedroom.

In the darkness, Michele claims someone smashed her in the face, briefly knocking her out.

"I'm walking to the bedroom...and all of a sudden I get hit," she explained, "really, really hard. And everything went black."

When she came to, she walks up to the bed and sees that Greg has been shot once in the head. Michele calls 911. And when cops arrive, they discover a very odd death scene.

"There was no DNA evidence, everything's been wiped clean. Greg was shot with his own gun. There's a wrench lying next to the gun. There's no sign of forced entry," said St. Amant.

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That death scene made police suspicious. When Michele was interviewed by cops later that morning, she kept telling the detective about an intruder:

Michele Williams (interrogation): (Cries) I heard a sound. I get up. ... I got hit by something. I could see it was a male ... in dark stuff ... dark clothing.

Asked by Van Sant where she was hit, Michele points to the right side of her face.

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Michele says the swollen mark on her face is proof she was hit with that wrench, found on the floor next to the gun. But how was it both these items had no trace of fingerprints?

Police Sgt. John McGrew turns up the heat on Michele, asserting that there are only two possible scenarios: Greg committed suicide or Michele had something to do with his death.

Sgt. McGrew: Those facts and everything, Michele, don't add up, OK?

Sgt. McGrew: Either it's self-inflicted and you covered it up, or potentially you may have been involved.

Michele Williams: I did not hurt my husband and he did not hurt himself. ... There was a man in my house!

"There was an intruder in the house. And that person killed my husband," Michele told Van Sant.

"And you know investigators will say, 'That intruder must've levitated in, inside a plastic bubble because there was no DNA -- no forensic evidence that backs up your claim,'" said Van Sant.

"And I say because the investigators were awful. They missed a lot," said Michele.

But McGrew keeps hammering her on that idea that it was either suicide or she was involved:

Sgt. McGrew: That's all I can say, one of the two things would have happened, one of those two things, Michele.

Michele Williams: I did not -- (crying) you will find that out because I did not do anything to my husband!

"This went on and on and...," Michele told Van Sant. "Back and forth."

"Do you feel you were being pressured to change your story?"

"I totally was. I was completely coerced into it," she replied.

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Finally, after Sgt. McGrew asks her for the eighth time, Michele told Van Sant, "I broke. I was in shock."

Sgt. McGrew: If he did it and you covered it up, just tell me.

Michele Williams: He did. ... It's just so--I couldn't let her know that her daddy killed himself.

Michele changes her story, saying there was no intruder after all. Greg did commit suicide and she didn't want her 4-year-old daughter to know.

Michele Williams: I couldn't even look at him. There was blood everywhere. I took some Clorox wipes -- I use Clorox wipes all over the house ... and I wiped the gun with the blanket that he had right there. And I set it down. Then I had to figure out what the hell to do at that point ... I opened the door and put the gun by the door.

Then she says that bruise on her face was self-inflicted:

Michele Williams: In order to make it make some sense I had to have an injury ... and I just thunked myself too hard.

Sgt. McGrew: With the wrench?

Michele Williams: With the wrench.

Even after her police interview, Michele told this same new story of a suicide to her older sister Laura. She told Laura she started cleaning up while Greg was still alive.

"... she actually said, 'Oh my God, Greg -- Greg shot himself. But he's still breathing. Oh, I better make -- I better clean up this -- or make this look like a crime scene so Makayla won't think that her dad shot himself,'" Laura told Van Sant. "And I think the part where she said 'he's still breathing' -- that's when I was like, 'Oh, my god.' I was--just shocked."

But investigators dismissed Michele's suicide story because the medical examiner's report called it homicide. For one thing, ballistics tests showed the gun had been fired from a foot-and-a-half away, and that was too far for a suicide. And as police continued to eliminate Greg's enemies and other suspects, they zeroed in on the person they believed was the killer.

Three months after Greg Williams' death, Michele Williams is arrested and charged with murder.

"Did you murder your husband, Greg?" Van Sant asked Michele.

"No, I did not," she replied.


After Michele's arrest, daughter Makayla went to live with family friends.

As police prepared to bring Michele Williams to justice, what cops didn't count on is that Michele would later change her story ... yet again.

"I've been wanting to tell this part of the story for two years and 115 days," she said.

A NEW MAN IN MICHELE'S LIFE

After Michele Williams was arrested for the murder of her husband Greg Williams -- who was shot in the head with his own gun -- a new man came into her life to comfort her.

"You know her as well as anyone. Is Michele Williams a killer?" Peter Van Sant asked Gene Wallis.

"I don't think she's capable. No," he replied.

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Michele Williams and Gene Wallis
Gene Wallis

Gene Wallis has known Michele for years as a family friend.

"He is my strength, he's my superglue," said Michele.

"He looks like a superhero," Van Sant commented.

"He is. He's a personal trainer," said Michele.

Wallis and Michele had started a fitness business. And incredibly, they filmed a workout video for a local newspaper after Michele was free on bond -- a week after being arrested for the murder of her husband.

"He 100 percent believes in me. He has not one doubt in his mind," she said.

Like so many before him, Wallis, who is 12 years younger than Michele, is smitten.

Asked if he loves Michele, Wallis told Van Sant, "I most certainly do."

"What do you love about her?" Van Sant asked.

"I think I love more than anything else -- how incredible she is to her family," Wallis replied.

And in another bizarre twist in this Texas tale, Wallis used to be her son Lee's best friend.

"I thought maybe they were building a stronger friendship, you know? I didn't think they were like romantically involved and sleeping together," said Lee O'Brien.

Lee learned about the secret romance when Gene Wallis approached him at his mom's house.

"And he said, 'Well ... I just wanted to come up like a man, because you're my friend, and let you know that I'm probably gonna sleep with your mom tonight.' And I snapped. That was it. I went full out, I was about to attack him," said Lee.

"Your best friend is sleeping with your mother. How do you deal with that?" Van Sant asked.

"That is like one of the hardest things to deal with because it is the utmost betrayal on both parties," Lee replied.

"This is like the National Enquirer on steroids. You know that," Van Sant commented to Michele.

"It is," Michele said, nodding her head in agreement.

"You're a tabloid times 10," said Van Sant.

"Yeah, I know," Michele replied.

"And this is all true you're telling me?" Van Sant asked.

"I'm telling you," she replied.

But Gene Wallis has another surprise for Lee, his own theory of Greg's murder -- that he revealed for the first time to "48 Hours" -- that Greg did not commit suicide, but was murdered by Lee.

"They hated each other. Their turmoil and their anger was mediated entirely through the love of Makayla and Michele," said Wallis.

And Wallis says he has proof: a picture that Makayla drew.

"That picture was of a dark shadowy figure walking into the hallway where Greg was sleeping and killed," he explained.

Wallis says he showed Lee the drawing and got a shocking response from Lee, who had been drinking.

"And he spoke of the figure in the picture and he asked me, 'What if she saw me? What if she knows that that was me?'"

"Gene Wallis says that you all but confessed to him," Van Sant told Lee.

"I think that is absolutely ridiculous," he replied with a laugh. "That conversation never went on."

"'What if she saw me? What if she knows that was me?' You never said that?" Van Sant asked.

"No. Those words never came out of my mouth," Lee replied.

"If you didn't kill Greg, who did?" Van Sant asked.

"Honestly, I don't know," Lee replied.

But Lee says he has an alibi -- he was far away at home in a different town at the time of Greg's death.

"Even if I had a vehicle, I probably woulda had to been goin' a 100 miles-an-hour down back streets, blowin' stoplights, gettin' through the gate of my community, where there's also a camera," Lee explained. "It's not even possible."

A surveillance camera in Michele's gated community showed only one person entering around the time Greg died -- a newspaper delivery man.

"There were a lot of people who might have had motivation to kill Greg Williams," journalist Claire St. Amant said, "but the only person in the house with him on the night he died was his wife, Michele Williams."

Police were convinced Michele was the murderer. For two years, they struggled to build a case, but they kept running into roadblocks.

"They couldn't definitively say what Michele did because they didn't have any physical evidence to tie her to the murder. The only evidence they had was that she was in the house when Greg died. So they worried that a jury might see that as reasonable doubt," said St. Amant.

While Michele has had trouble keeping her story straight, cops say she did one thing to perfection: scrubbing the death scene of all fingerprint evidence. With no proof of murder, prosecutors feel they only have one option -- offer Michele a deal: plead guilty to tampering with evidence and what Texas calls "deadly conduct"-- shooting a weapon in a potentially dangerous situation.

"I took the plea deal to be able to get back home to my daughter sooner than when she's 18 years old," a teary Michele said. "If I went to trial with not having the representation that I feel I needed on this case, I could lose the case and go away for 50 to 100 years."

In accepting the plea deal, Michele was -- in legal terms -- taking responsibility for Greg's death, admitting the gun was in her hand when it fired. But she believed with good behavior, she'd get far less than the maximum 18 years.

"How long do you think you will spend in prison?" Van Sant asked Michele.

"Couple of years," she replied.

But there's still another odd turn in this story that will keep her out of jail.

"She wasn't having the same appetite as normal. She was having just a little bit of vertigo. And she -- she just kept denying it," said Gene Wallis.

A HISTORY OF LYING

If you thought the case of Michele Williams couldn't get any stranger, hang on.

"Michele has given me gifts that I never thought I could have, ever," said Gene Wallis.

One of the gifts Michele was ready to give her new boyfriend was fatherhood.

"And after eight positives, we went to the doctor and confirmed that she was pregnant!" he said.

Pregnant with twins. "I would fall asleep with my head on her stomach, listening to em, feeling them moving and kicking..." an emotional Wallis said.

And with that, the judge decides to delay Michele's sentencing hearing on her plea deal while she's pregnant. And justice for Greg Williams would have to wait.

But this past January, according to Wallis, tragedy struck.

"Nearly a week ago we finally lost our babies," Wallis told Van Sant in tears. "Neither one of us have really been able to cope or deal with this yet. ... We, we don't have a way to do that yet."

When the judge learns the pregnancy is over, he orders her back to prison to await her sentencing on the plea deal. But Michele's family members question whether she was ever pregnant at all.

"It's one of her things, if you will--she'll fake pregnancies. She'll fake miscarriages. Sometimes to ... get attention. I mean there's been a lot of them throughout the years," Michele's sister, Laura said.

"Is there any question in your mind that your mother was pregnant?" Van Sant asked Lee O'Brien, Michele's oldest son.

"No, I know she wasn't," he replied.

"You know she wasn't?"

"Yeah, I'm positive, she was not," Lee affirmed.

"This was all fake?" Van Sant asked.

"Yes, this whole thing was just a ploy," said Lee.

A ploy, he says, to keep her out of jail.

And for Lee, it wasn't the first time Michele had deceived him about a pregnancy. Lee says he was 19 when he noticed a striking resemblance -- not to the man he thought was his father -- but to one of his mother's former boyfriends.

"I looked just like him," Lee said. "... cheekbone, eyes, laugh, smile, everything. I'm like a spitting image."

A family friend confirmed Lee's mother had lied to him about who his real father was.

"I was just--I was in complete shock," said Lee.

And when Lee confronted Michele, he says she denied it.

"And she said, 'Oh don't be like that ... they're all making this whole elaborate story up,'" he said.

"Michele, do you have a problem with the truth?" Van Sant asked.

"No, I do not," she replied.

"Do you tell lies and you don't even realize you're telling lies?"

"No, I do not," Michele replied. I'm not a compulsive liar. No."

Lee and his younger brother, Andrew, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, say their mother has been lying to them their whole lives.


"She's done wrong to so many people, she's never seen that there's anything wrong with it," Lee said.

"I don't think she realizes that there's anything wrong," said Andrew.

When he was a teenager, Lee says his aunt had to rescue him from the madness involving his mother that he said involved strip clubs and many men.

"When my mom was doin' dirty stuff for money and I was sorta just tagged along," he said.

"Dirty stuff?" Van Sant asked.

"Yeah, I mean, I knew she was workin' at a strip club at one point--topless bar, Baby Dolls..." Lee explained.

"And I know that she has slept with people for things. Like, for instance, the rent money. So, I mean, if you call that prostitution, I guess that would be it," said Laura.

Michele said that is "absolutely not true. ...That is the most fictitious thing I've ever heard."

"She's lying," said Lee.

"You believe your mom, at times, was a prostitute?" Van Sant asked.

"I believe there's a very good possibility that she was. If she wasn't getting paid for it, I know she was sleeping around," Lee replied.

Despite his mother's history of lying, Lee says he wanted to believe her story that she didn't kill Greg.

"And I dropped my entire life and came running back to her just like a little puppy dog, like 'What do we do now? What can I do for you? Oh, wow I can't believe this happened, I'm gonna protect you," Lee told Van Sant. "And you know, two months into the whole thing, I started realizing, 'Oh, oh my god. She did it again!'"

Even more troubling, her family outlines a plot of murder and revenge. Nephews Tyler and Trayce claim she walked into her yogurt shop one day with a startling proposal.

"'If I kill Greg, y'all down to go to Mexico with me?'" Trayce said Michele asked.

"But we thought it was all a joke. Until two days later ..." said Tyler.

"Two days after she told me and Tyler that she's gonna kill him and take his money and take us with her to Mexico, it happened. That's where me and him were like, 'Dude!'" said Trayce.

"Two days later, he's dead?" Van Sant asked.

"Two days later I get a phone call, from him, actually sayin', 'Hey Greg's dead,'" said Trayce

Andrew says after Greg's death, his mother made a sinister request.

"She asked me to do her a favor. And I asked her what the favor was, and she said, 'I want you to frame Kathy,'" said Andrew.

Kathy Williams, you recall, is Greg's first wife.

"And she told me she wants me to go to Wal-Mart and buy an extra large sweater, go to some open land and go fire a .40 so that gunpowder blast would get on the sweater, make [an] anonymous phone call to police tipping them off for Kathy so they'd search her car," Andrew continued.

"This is a pretty fantastic plot, does this upset you?" Van Sant asked Kathy.

"Nah, we all know she's evil," she replied.

Michele denies it all.

"What does this plot say about Michele's character?" Van Sant asked Kathy.

"Stupid. To even think that she could think about framing me," she replied.

Andrew and Lee O'Brien have come to the hard realization their mother, Michele, may be a murderer.

"It's just hard for you to say, isn't it?" Van Sant asked Lee.

"It is, he replied.

"It's very hard for me to say that she murdered someone. It's just -- I can't force the words out of my mouth, but I believe she's capable of it," said Andrew.

"Did you murder your husband Greg?" Van Sant asked Michele.

"No I did not," she replied in tears.

"Did you stand a foot - a foot and a half away, use his own handgun and shoot him in the head?" Van Sant asked.

"No I did not," Michele replied.

"You swear you're telling me the truth?"

"I swear. I didn't kill my husband. If I had killed my husband I woulda had to kill myself right afterwards," she replied.

"I believe that she should have been an actress," Andrew said. "I mean she really brings the tears. She brings the little emotions."

"When she left my house, the last word she said was, 'I did not kill my husband.' And I told her, 'Tell that to a jury,'" said Laura.

"You think your sister could be a killer?" Van Sant asked. "Yes," Laura replied.

"Me and my sister have been kinda on again, off again. And now for the rest of our lives we're obviously off. She's as dead to me as I am to her," said Michele.

As she sat in jail awaiting sentencing, it looked like Michele Williams' fate was finally sealed with her plea bargain. But then, in her interview with "48 Hours", she dropped a bombshell: that she was not guilty of anything -- not even the charges she had pleaded guilty to because she had nothing at all to do with shooting Greg.

"Who did then? Who shot Greg?" Van Sant asked.

"I have my assumptions," Michele said. "And that person is letting me sit here and take the blame and the responsibility for this whole thing."

When prison officials told the district attorney that she had repudiated her own plea bargain, the case turned upside down.

COURTROOM SHOWDOWN

This past February, in her interview with "48 Hours", Michele Williams went back to her original story that someone entered the house and murdered Greg with his own gun.

"Intruders bring their own weapons into a house," Van Sant commented to Michele.

"I have lots to say to that. ... I believe Greg reached for his, which he kept under his nightstand right there by the bed," she replied.

"And this intruder took the gun out of his hand and shot him?" Van Sant asked.

"Out of the gun bag," Michele replied. "I'm saying he had his own weapon but, I don't know--"

"With his opposite hand, grabbed your husband's weapon and used that on him?" Van Sant continued.

"I don't, I don't have a theory. I'm just sayin' I think they came into the house with a gun," said Michele.

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Michele Williams and "48 Hours"' Peter Van Sant
CBS News

But in telling that story to "48 Hours," Michele was now contradicting herself -- denying the charges she had previously pleaded guilty to. Judge Scott Wisch hauls her into court and admonishes her:

Judge Scott Wisch: Lady Justice may very well be blind, but she's neither deaf nor stupid. ... And if you are pleading guilty because you think you're being pressured, coerced, or tricked, then you need to have your day in court. Let 12 jurors decide are you guilty of murder or not.

Michele Williams: Yes, sir.

Judge Scott Wisch: ...If you're not guilty of tampering, if you're not guilty of deadly conduct, the answer to that question is a trial by a jury of your peers.

Prosecutor Jack Strickland asks Michele about that deadly conduct charge for firing the gun that killed Greg:

Jack Strickland: So let's start with the simple question. ... Are you in fact factually guilty of that offense?

Michele Williams: No, I'm not (cries).

The judge officially throws out the plea deal and orders Michele Williams to stand trial for murder:

Judge Scott Wisch: The court as required by law rejects your plea to the deadly conduct charge and reinstates the murder charge ... And your trial is to murder, not deadly conduct. You understand that?

Michele Williams: Yes, sir.

By foregoing the plea deal Michele Williams could potentially face life behind bars. But Gene Wallis so believes in Michele's innocence, that he proposed to her ... and she accepted.

"Michele did not do this, she did not kill her husband," Wallis said. "You know, she and I put together-- a plan. And people can think what they want. ... But we at least still had each other. So if anybody thought that this was over anything other than an unfair act that was committed against Greg that she had nothing do with -- they're wrong."

"Why don't you just walk away from all this?" Van Sant asked Wallis. "You are a young man, you have a career yet to build."

"It's easy to see the worst -- If you walk away from somebody that you truly love," Wallis replied, " it's a cold hearted thing to do."

Asked if she has any advice for Gene Wallis, Kathy Williams said, "Run."

"... far away, don't talk to her ... just get away from her," said Laura. "Run for your life!"

"I don't know what kind of hold she has on these men, but it's amazing," Kathy told Van Sant.

"Do you think your mother believed today that with her powers of persuasion that she can go to trial and win?" Van Sant asked Lee O'Brien of his mother.

"Yes. One hundred percent," he replied.

And Michele is convinced she can win, too. She says the police interrogation where she claims she was pressured to change her story will create reasonable doubt with a jury.

"I always thought Michele thought she could win the trial. Because I know she thinks, 'I'll work that jury,'" said Laura.

The question remains -- if Michele did kill the husband who had provided the life of her dreams -- why? Son Andrew has a theory.

"I think she got bored with Greg, started cheating on him," he told "48 Hours.""I believe he found out, he hit her, threatened to leave her, she freaked out and acted on instinct."

Michele has left in her wake a long string of disappointed men, including her own two sons.

"Do you still, on some level, do you still love your mother?" Van Sant asked Lee O'Brien.

"I love who she could be. I love who I thought that she was whenever I was younger. I love that -- that fantasy," he replied.

"...it's taken a lot to take control of my own life. Because she controlled it for so long with her tears and her -- her crying and -- and the lies, that I've -- I've had to learn how to take over my own life again," said son Andrew O'Brien.

Perhaps the saddest victim in this tragedy is the young girl who has lost both her father and her mother, 6-year-old Makayla.

"And what do you want to say to your daughter?" Van Sant asked Michele.

"'Mommy loves you so much,'" she said in tears, her voice breaking up. "'And this is all gonna be behind us. And we're gonna have our happily ever after because that's what we've been lookin' for for the past couple of years. We're gonna have that.'"

"'Mom,' to me, carries more meaning than the word, 'love,'" Lee said. "She's my mother but she'll never be my mom."

And even after all the damaged lives, Michele believes she is the real victim.

"I'm going down for something I didn't do," she said. "I don't deserve this. I'm not a bad person. I'm not the monster that everyone's makin' me out to be."

Michele Williams is scheduled to stand trial for murder this September.

Makayla, now 6, continues to live with family friends, who have filed for legal custody.

At Michele's request, her fiancé Gene Wallis is fighting that action - filing his own suit to get custody of the child.

  • Peter Van Sant

    Correspondent, "48 Hours"

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