Hearing on slain man’s will delayed | TheUnion.com

Hearing on slain man’s will delayed

A hearing to settle the estate of homicide victim Danny Williams has been postponed a month. Initially set for today, it was rescheduled for Feb. 20.

At issue is whether the San Juan Ridge man intended to bequeath all his belongings to his mother, Flo Williams of Shasta County, or his girlfriend, Diana Gibbs, with whom he shared a home on Pleasant Valley Road.

Gibbs has a produced a typed will, supposedly signed by Danny Williams on Aug. 10, 2000, while Flo Williams has produced a will supposedly handwritten by her son and dated Aug. 19, 2000.

Each side says the other side’s document is fraudulent and claim witnesses will back them up.

The lawyer for Flo Williams, Paul Manka of Nevada City, was granted the continuance at a Nevada County Superior Court hearing last Friday.

On Tuesday, Manka said he needs extra time because Gibbs’ lawyer, Thomas Hastert, was late filing documents and he can’t prepare for Hastert’s argument.

Manka also said he needs time to line up a handwriting expert.

“With all the evidence I have, I’m confident that my client’s will is going to be admitted to probate,” he said.

Hastert couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Sheriff’s Office detectives have continued eliminating possible leads – from the basic to the bizarre – into the unsolved Oct. 2 slaying. Williams, 51, was shot once in the back of his head as he apparently changed a tire in his garage, where Gibbs reported finding him.

Among the unusual, Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Smith said, was a woman’s recent claim that she shot a man last August on Missouri Bar Road, east of Nevada City, and he was buried in a shallow grave near there.

She thought the case might be connected with Williams’ death, Smith said, because the so-called victim was with a group of men, one of them named “Danny.”

Unsure of the woman’s believability, Smith said he nevertheless visited the described area Saturday, but it’s covered with snow.

A heavily pursued lead has been a possible connection with the unsolved 1993 murder of Ricky Abel at a Tyler-Foote Crossing Road home.

Two suspects in that case were Thomas Windus, Gibbs’ former husband, who died in a motorcycle crash, and Ricky Welch, nicknamed “Chainsaw,” according to Smith.

Investigators were looking for the 400-pound Welch until they learned he died of heart failure last April in Stockton, Smith said.

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