Williams sentenced to life in prison for murder of 5-year old daughter

Published 3:46 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2022

State Attorney Melissa Nelson announces that the Honorable Kevin Blazs sentenced Brianna Williams to life in Florida State Prison for the 2019 killing of her 5-year-old daughter, Taylor Williams. Brianna Williams pleaded guilty to Second-Degree Murder in March 2022; the sentence was announced during a hearing Sept. 16, 2022, following two days of testimony.

On Nov. 6, 2019, Williams called the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to report her daughter, Taylor, missing and the back door of her Brentwood home unlocked. A massive search effort and investigation ensued, during which Williams became uncooperative with law enforcement and lied about several key timeline facts about Taylor. The investigation showed Williams — days prior to Taylor’s disappearance — traveled to a remote area of Alabama where she briefly stayed before immediately returning to Jacksonville. The Demopolis Police Department (Alabama) announced Nov. 12, 2019, that human remains were found in the area where Williams traveled and stopped. Forensic analysis confirmed the remains belonged to Taylor.

“Brianna Williams’ elaborate lies initially concealed her terrible crime in the murder of her innocent daughter,” said State Attorney Melissa Nelson. “The dogged work by law enforcement and prosecutors brought the truth to light and, ultimately, justice was served for Taylor.”

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The case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, FBI Jacksonville, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, NCIS, Demopolis Police Department and State Bureau of Investigation (Alabama), with assistance from the Department of Health Vital Statistics, and Florida Gulf Coast University. The case has been prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Lauren Anderson.