Accused cop killer breaks down in court, struggles with dilemma on whether to testify

Jury to start deciding fate of Kyle Williams

BARTOW, Fla. - The man on trial for murdering a Lakeland police officer in 2011 decided Monday he would not take the stand in his own defense.

But it was not an easy decision.

Kyle Williams is accused of shooting Officer Arnulfo Crispin in December 2011 during a routine pat down in a Lakeland park.

Monday afternoon, the prosecution rested its case against Williams after nearly two weeks of witness testimony.

Right as the state rested, Williams began to show emotion for the first time in the trial -- putting his head on the table and crying.

"My client needs a short break. He's under distress," his attorney told the judge.

Williams likely knew what was coming -- a very important decision on whether or not to take the stand.

When he returned, Judge Donald Jacobsen prodded for an answer.

"Have you made a decision on whether or not you want to take the stand?"

Williams sat silently for several seconds, holding back tears.

"I haven't yet," he said.

"This is the time that a decision needs to be made," Jacobsen said.

Some 20 seconds later, a visibly shaken Williams finally made up his mind.

"I'm not going to take the stand," he told the court.

It was clear the decision weighed heavily on the accused cop killer.

Leading up to this point, the jury heard from a slew of witnesses, including four friends who were there that night.

All four pointed to Williams as the man who pulled the trigger, killing Crispin.

Closing arguments are set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. The jury could get the case Wednesday afternoon.

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