Victoria Rickman (entering courtroom) was denied bond Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 by Judge Courtney L. Johnson in DeKalb County Superior Court in Decatur.
Photo: John Spink / AJC
Photo: John Spink / AJC

No bond for Atlanta woman accused of killing ex-fiance

An Atlanta woman accused of shooting her ex-fiancé in the back at least 10 times won’t be released on bond, a judge ruled Friday.

Victoria Rickman is charged with felony murder in the Sept. 13 death of William Carter, Jr., in a case that has reflects a dramatic history between the two.

Friday, prosecutors demanded that Rickman not be allowed bond.

“There is no evidence whatsoever that this has anything to do with anything other than Ms. Rickman loading a gun, shooting and killing William Carter, reloading that gun and continuing to shoot Mr. Carter,” DeKalb County Assistant District Attorney Zina Gumbs said Friday in court as she asked that bond be denied.

But Rickman’s attorney said, as police reported on the night of the shooting, that his client was raped and she shot him for fear that he’d do it again.

“She had been raped before and he indicated to her that he was coming back for more,” her attorney Harold Buckler said. “This was a lengthy, violent and toxic relationship. Ms. Rickman was a victim of sexual and physical abuse at his hands.”

Indeed, both have been charged in Cobb County for attacking the other, according to arrest warrants acquired by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In May, a warrant was issued for Rickman’s arrest on trespassing and battery and family violence charges because of accusations that she entered Carter’s home and refused to leave, and attacked him, leaving cuts and scratches on his face, neck and arms.

In January 2012, Carter was charged with sexual battery, simple assault/fear and simple battery for allegations that he held her down and groped her without her consent , telling her “I’ll do what I want,” the arrest warrant said.

But Gumbs said Rickman hadn’t been sexually assaulted on the night of Sept. 13, as she claims.

“There’s been no evidence that Ms. Rickman was a victim of anything,” Gumbs said.

She suggested that Rickman would be a danger if released.

“Ms. Rickman has proven that she can come up on a weapon at any time,” Gumbs said. “In fact, the murder weapon in this case belonged to a Cobb County deputy sheriff.”

That Cobb deputy, Fredrick Price, was terminated last week, according to records from the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council.

Buckler told the AJC after the hearing that he was anxious to see whether the forthcoming toxicology report on Carter would show evidence of drugs or alcohol in his system.

In court, he continued to characterize his client as a victim, however, and denied allegations that Rickman had made threats to Carter’s family.

“She kept getting beaten, kept getting raped and she kept coming back,” Buckler said. “That’s what led up to the incident in September.”

Dozens of people were in court representing both Carter’s and Rickman’s families and reacted audibly – sobs and gasps – when DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Courtney L. Johnson made her ruling.

“I do believe that Ms. Rickman is a danger to the community,” Johnson said. “So I am denying her bond.”

The investigation continues and a trial date is pending.

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