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33-year-old Jessie Williams has been convicted of second degree murder (2022 mug shot courtesy of the Missouri Department of Corrections website)

Prosecutors say Columbia woman thrown to her death off bridge suffered fractured ribs; liver split open

33-year-old Jessie Williams is on trial in Columbia for first degree murder (2022 mug shot courtesy of the Missouri Department of Corrections website)

A Boone County jury could hear closing arguments today in a high-profile Columbia murder case involving a woman being thrown to her death from a highway overpass.

33-year-old Jessie Williams, who has a lengthy criminal history, is charged with first degree murder for allegedly throwing 24-year-old Kaylen Ann Schmit 38 feet to her death from the Highway 63 overpass near Bob Evans in October 2022.

The jury is hearing from more prosecution witnesses this morning. 939 the Eagle News was in the courtroom for Wednesday’s opening statements in the trial. Williams wore a white dress shirt with no tie, khaki pants and dress shoes. A jury listened intently as Boone County assistant prosecutor Susan Boresi delivered opening statements. She tells the jury that the victim’s liver was split open from her 38-foot fall and that Schmit also suffered fractured ribs.

One prosecution witness, a homeless woman named Tina, testified she saw Schmit about 20 minutes before the murder following a man that Tina identified in the courtroom as Williams. Tina testified that Schmit seemed irritated and frustrated that day. Defense attorney Daniel Hickman questioned another prosecution witness, a homeless man who said that Schmit wanted her bag back that day from Williams. Under cross-examination, the man testified that he saw Williams and Schmit together that day. The witness testified that he didn’t see them on the overpass and that he didn’t hear screaming, although he could hear them talking in the distance.

Williams was paroled from prison in August 2022, less than two months before Schmit’s murder.

Boone County Circuit Judge Brouck Jacobs is presiding over the trial. There was tight security in the courtroom on Wednesday.

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