Scroll down to read this guy's explanation for how he happened to kill five people.
Murder suspect confesses, wants to be executed
Wednesday, June 4, 2003 Posted: 3:54 PM EDT (1954 GMT)
A man charged with five counts of murder gives a detailed confession of one of the killings to a Florida television station. WTLV's Kyle Meenan reports (June 4)
(CNN) -- A man charged with killing his wife and four others, then keeping their bodies in his trailer for days, has given a detailed confession to a Jacksonville, Florida television station in which he asks for the death penalty.
William Wells' court-appointed attorney had entered a plea of not guilty for his client, but Wells said he wants instead to plead guilty so he can be put to death by lethal injection. In his Sunday confession, Wells also told WTLV-TV reporter Kyle Meenan he did not want his public defender to make an insanity plea on his behalf, saying he was fully aware of his actions. (Neighbor's reaction)
"I'm here not to make excuses, but to inform you, the citizens and the taxpayers of Duval County, that I am willing to pay for my mistakes and to save the citizens and the taxpayers of Duval County the expense of a drawn-out trial," Wells said in the 28-minute interview, portions of which were aired on WTLV-TV.
"To the families and the victims, I am very sorry for your loss."
CNN attempted to contact Wells' court-appointed attorney, Pat McGinnis, but he refused comment, citing attorney-client privilege.
Wells is charged with killing his wife, her brother, her father, her former boyfriend, and a neighbor over a period of 10 days, beginning May 14. Wells said his wife's death was an accident, but he took responsibility for the other four.
"I did not murder my wife," he said.
In surprising detail, Wells calmly and clearly described what happened in his trailer, beginning with the death of his wife Irene, nicknamed "Tootie," early in the morning of the 14th. He said she pulled her brother's gun from her purse without a clip.
"I said, 'What is that for?' and she jokingly told me, 'This is in case you get stupid today.' And I laughed about it."
He said she held it up and he playfully slapped the gun back down a number of times.
"I grabbed it by the handle, and she goes, 'Now what are you gonna do?' And I stuck it to the back of her head and I said, 'This!' and I pulled the trigger and it went off," he said, sobbing.
"She fell over and I jumped down there and I grabbed her by her throat with my two fingers to check for a pulse, and when I rolled her over, her face was gone," he said. "Literally gone. There was -- an ambulance could've done nothing for her. And being a convicted felon, and having a firearm in my hand, I knew that I was gonna end up in this position anyways, and I was scared to death."
Later in the day, Irene Wells' brother John McMains came to the trailer. Wells said he tried to explain what happened, but McMains became angry, so Wells loaded the gun he used in killing his wife.
"John's almost 500 pounds, and he's a big boy, and I didn't want to mess with him," Wells told the station. "I had no intentions of shooting him until he took off into the room and started getting hostile."
Wells said he first shot at his brother-in-law, wounding him in the head, but when McMains then grabbed his sleeve, he fired two shots at his head, killing him.
After that, Wells said, "I was expecting the police to show up at any time. I figured somebody heard the gunshots, but nobody ever came."
Two days later, McMains' father, Bill, came to the home and let himself in.
"He walked into the room and seen Tootie, and he ran to the kitchen and got a knife," Wells said. McMains and Wells started talking, but then, he said, "I shot him in the side of the head. I dragged him on into my son's room and I covered him up with some blankets and I brought my son's clothes out of the room."
With three dead bodies now in his trailer, Wells said, he sent his step-daughter to stay with her biological father, but his 4-year-old son stayed in the house. He then began doing cocaine and smoking marijuana, he said.
The next victim was Richie Reese, the man his wife dated before she married Wells. Wells said he always suspected the two were having an affair -- especially when Wells, a tugboat operator, would be away for long periods -- and he decided to confront Reese about it.
"I didn't call him over there to lure him over there to shoot him," Wells said. "I called him over there [because] I wanted to ask him some questions about him having sex with my wife in the house."
When confronted, Reese tried to leave through a sliding door in the back, but Wells said he kicked the door shut.
"So he reached down into his bag, and as he started to lift up, he had something black in his hand," Wells said. "I lifted the gun out of my pants and I just fired. I don't even -- I still don't even know where I shot him, if I shot him in the head, or the chest, or the neck, or what. It just happened so fast. But as I shot him, a cell phone charger shot across the floor."
The last victim was James Young, who lived nearby and came to deliver $850 in crack cocaine, Wells said. He said Young tried to rob Wells of his marijuana, at which point Wells killed him in what he called "a drug deal gone bad."
The ordeal culminated in a 12-hour standoff May 25 with Wells taking his son hostage.
"I do want everybody to know that I would have never harmed my son, but the police didn't know that, and that was my bargaining chip," Wells said.
Wells eventually released his son and was arrested, and it was afterward that police found the five bodies.
"You can only imagine the situation inside that mobile home," said Lt. Rick Graham of the Duval County Sheriff's Office. "Totally bizarre."
Wells has since called the reporter a number of times, Meenan said, including three separate times on Tuesday alone. Meenan said Wells updates him on various aspects of the case.