A 16-year-old Athens girl who fatally stabbed her father five months ago will not be criminally prosecuted, Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney Ken Mauldin said Monday.
The death of 39-year-old Antonio Wilkerson was one of two fatal stabbings in December that reportedly occurred during domestic disputes.
In the other case, authorities decided last month not to charge Audrey Denise Ansley, 47, for stabbing 58-year-old Mark Hillman, concluding the woman acted in self-defense during a dispute with her boyfriend in their home on Windy Hill Place on Dec. 26.
On Monday, Mauldin said an exhaustive investigation by his office and the Athens-Clarke County Police Department was unable to disprove the teen’s claim that she also acted in self-defense when fatally stabbing her father in their Norwood Lane home on Dec. 12.
Authorities had been unsure on whether prosecution in Wilkerson’s death was warranted when asked as late as April 12 – four months after the homicide — when Mauldin said he had asked police to further investigate the matter.
“In any event, we did meet and review the Wilkerson case further after additional investigative follow-up and crime lab testing were concluded,” Mauldin said Monday.
“We all came to the same conclusion that there is not sufficient evidence to disprove any defense of self or others beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.
Wilkerson was said to have been highly intoxicated during a verbal altercation with his daughter and other family members prior to being stabbed.
According to police, other witnesses to Wilkerson’s fatal stabbing included his common-law wife and another teenage daughter. The victim’s two other children, ages 4 and 9, were said by police to have been in another room and did not witness the deadly altercation.
Authorities withheld details of the confrontation that culminated in Wilkerson’s death because his alleged killer was a juvenile. Mauldin also would not discuss factors behind the decision to not prosecute Ansley for Hillman’s death.
However, a police detective’s affidavit filed last month in Clarke County Superior Court recounted events that led to Hillman’s death.
On Dec, 26, Ansley left home to assist a relative who was in need of some unspecified help, and upon returning home that evening, got into an argument with Hillman because he was angry she had left.
Ansley then went to bed, from where she reportedly heard what sounded like Hillman on the phone making arrangements to meet with another woman, according to the affidavit. The couple again began arguing when Ansley confronted Hillman about the phone call, at which time he pushed her to the kitchen floor, got on top of her and allegedly began hitting her, the affidavit stated.
The couple’s dog then got involved, trying to bite Ansley while she was on the floor, police said. Hillman reportedly picked up the dog and took it out of the kitchen, and when he returned, he allegedly had a pair of bongos which he used to strike Ansley in the face and head, according to the affidavit.
Ansley then stabbed Hillman once in the chest with a knife she took from a kitchen drawer while Hillman was dealing with the dog, the affidavit stated.
The detective signed the affidavit when applying for records for Hillman’s phone, which police believed could contain information pertinent to the investigation, such as the identity of the person to whom Hillman was speaking when the deadly altercation began.
The fatal incident was reported by a neighbor who heard a commotion coming from the couple’s residence.
Police said that when they arrived, they found Hillman on a couch, bleeding from the stab wound to his chest. When they asked Ansley who stabbed Hillman, she “made a comment to the effect that they were looking at her,” according to the affidavit.
Anyone who is in an abusive relationship can seek advice and services by calling Project Safe’s 24-hour hotline at (706) 543-3331, or by visiting http://www.project-safe.org.
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