Hung jury for woman who butchered husband and smothered children

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POMONA – A jury debating the death penalty for a Rowland Heights woman convicted of killing her family deadlocked on Monday.

Following deliberations in the penalty phase of Manling Williams’ trial, the jury was hung, court officials said Monday. Eight jurors favored recommending death for Williams, while four preferred life without parole, Los Angles County District Attorney’s office officials said.

A hearing was scheduled for Jan. 11 to determine the next course of action.

“At that time, the district attorney’s office will announce whether we intend to retry the penalty phase,” said spokeswoman Shiara Davila. “In the event we do, we will do so with a brand new jury.”

Williams faced the death penalty after she was convicted on Nov. 4 of slashing to death her husband, Neal, and smothering her two sons, Devon, 7, and Ian, 3, with a pillow in their Rowland Heights home on Aug. 7, 2007.

The jury deliberated for more than two days before determining it could not reach a decision.

If the DA opts not to retry the penalty phase, Williams will be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, Davila said.

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