26-year-old Sarasota man charged with second-degree murder after May battery case leads to death

Suspect allegedly slammed victim’s head into a wall, leading to complications because of a pre-existing health condition the victim had

Nicklaus Lee Williams. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has charged a 26-year-old Sarasota man with second-degree murder in the aftermath of an apparent domestic disturbance, the department has announced.

Nicklaus Lee Williams formally was taken into custody just before 1 a.m. on May 6, the report says, hours after the incident occurred.

At 8:30 p.m. on May 5, the report continues, deputies responded to an apartment on Beneva Road after witnesses dialed 911 “to report a loud altercation in which the suspect was yelling, screaming, and throwing furniture and appliances,” a Sheriff’s Office news release says.

When deputies spoke with the victim, the release adds, she told them that she and Williams were engaged in a dispute when Williams broke several items inside the apartment. The victim then explained that Williams left the home after the argument, and no crime had occurred, the release notes.

Two hours later, the victim dialed 911 to report Williams had returned to the apartment. Then, the report says, “[H]e slammed [the victim’s] head into a wall” during another altercation.

Deputies located the victim down the street from the apartment, the report continues. They observed that she had “a large hematoma above [her] left eye.”

She identified Williams as the assailant, the report adds, and she gave officers a physical description of him.

“Paramedics responded and treated the victim at the scene,” the report notes, “but she refused transport to the hospital.”

The deputies did photograph her injury and the damage to the apartment as part of their investigation, the report says.

Deputies later located Williams on foot in the area and took him into custody on felony charges of Battery, Criminal Mischief, and Resisting Arrest without Violence, the news release notes.

On May 13, the victim was admitted to the hospital May 13 “after suffering complications from the head injury,” which exacerbated a medical condition she had, the report points out.

That pre-existing condition “caused internal bleeding, leading to necrosis and gangrene,” the report says. The victim required several surgical amputations, the report adds, including removal of skin from her chest, head, face and scalp. The victim died of organ failure on May 29, the report notes.

According to both hospital staff and the District 12 Medical Examiner’s Office, the news release says, “the victim’s head injury ultimately caused her death.”

On June 9, detectives charged Williams with Homicide, the news release adds. He has been in custody since May 6 and will be held without bond, the release points out.

Williams has prior arrests for battery, burglary, property damage, and theft, among other counts, the release adds.

In one case, which occurred in May 2016, he was charged with assault after an incident on Texas Street in Englewood, 12th Judicial Circuit Court records show.

A red balloon marks the 700 block of Texas Street in Englewood. Image from Google Maps

The victim in that case was working on the property when Williams showed up and walked around the building, that report said. Williams and his girlfriend “had just been evicted from an apartment on the property,” the Sheriff’s Office report added.

The victim told a deputy that he did not want Williams on the property, as he feared Williams would cause damage, the report noted.

The victim “yelled for [Williams] to leave the property,” adding that Williams had no reason to be there, the report continued. Williams yelled back at the victim and raised his fist as he came closer to the victim, the report said. Williams then swung his fist at the victim, the report added, but he missed because the victim ducked.

Finally, the report said, Williams left on foot.

On Nov. 10, 2016, Williams pleaded guilty to assault in that case, a court document pointed out. He was ordered to pay court costs and put on a payment plan to do so. Williams was not put on probation, the court record showed.

A subsequent document in the case docket, dated Aug. 13, 2019, said he had been found non-compliant with the payment agreement and owed the court $675. On Aug. 16, 2019, the docket noted, the case was sent to a collections agency.

The victim’s family in the homicide case opted into Marsy’s Law, which affords the victim privacy rights, the news release says. “For that reason, her identity will remain confidential.”