ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Timothy Williams, 59, is facing a new trial for the rape and murder of Wendy Jerome, a 14-year-old who was murdered 40 years ago. His previous trial in November 2023 ended in a mistrial due to jury misconduct. Jerome’s body was found after her family reported her missing on Thanksgiving 1984. She had been brutally raped and murdered, and her body was discovered near a school in Rochester, New York.
On the night of her disappearance, Jerome had cooked Thanksgiving dinner with her father before leaving to visit a friend. Her mother, Marlene Jerome, recalled the events and the growing concern when Wendy did not return home by her curfew. The family’s distress intensified when they learned of Wendy’s tragic fate. Despite an extensive investigation, the case went cold, leaving the family without justice for many years.
In 2020, a familial DNA hit identified Timothy Williams as a suspect, and his connection to the murder was confirmed with an additional DNA sample. Williams, who would have been 20 years old at the time of the murder, was arrested in 2020 at his home in Melbourne, Florida.
The first trial concluded with a mistrial due to jury misconduct, devastating Jerome’s family. Despite the setback, the prosecutor and Jerome’s family are dedicated to continuing to fight for justice for the young girl. The new trial is scheduled to begin with jury selection on Feb. 27, 2024. The prosecutor stated that the new trial will “start from scratch.” Several witnesses traveled from out of town and even out of the country, and they will likely need to return to testify.
With the new trial date set, the pursuit of justice for Wendy Jerome continues, with the hope of finally finding closure for her family after decades of waiting.