Man gets life again for beating Cobb girlfriend to death with hammer

Mugshot of Deron Williams

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Mugshot of Deron Williams

After Georgia’s highest court decided he deserved the opportunity for a new sentence, a Cobb County judge has once again sent Deron Williams to prison for the rest of his life without a chance of parole.

A prosecutor asked and Superior Court Judge LaTain Kell agreed to re-sentence Williams, 44, on his malice murder charge Tuesday morning.

A jury in late 2012 found Williams guilty of beating his girlfriend Decarla Lomax to death with a hammer inside her Austell trailer.

Prosecutor Jesse Evans said Tuesday’s hearing “involved a rather technical issue” regarding Williams’ initial sentence.

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That issue is what brought the case to the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Essentially, state Justices found that the Cobb court improperly interpreted the outcomes in Williams' previous attacks on Lomax when sentencing him.

"Williams argues, and we agree, that the trial court erred in this respect," Justice Carol W. Hunstein wrote in her Aug. 28 opinion on the case.

According to court records, Williams and Lomax had an “on-again, off-again relationship marked by violence.”

In July 2008, after having lived together just over a year, Williams hit her so hard over the head with a hammer that the tool broke, according to the supreme court’s summary of the case. The hit sent Lomax to the emergency room.

She and Williams, whom the courts identified as a drug addict, had been arguing about money.

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The fatal hammer attack happened three years later.

On May 12, 2011, Williams was with Lomax as she packed up items in her Austell trailer to move into an apartment in Clayton County.

They began arguing because Williams was texting his child’s mother. As the argument got more heated, Lomax came at him with a metal comb and also told him she’d been having sex with other men, records said.

Williams grabbed a nearby hammer that was being used to remove nails supporting pictures on the wall. He hit Lomax four times in the head, killing the 36-year-old woman.

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Williams wrapped Lomax's head in a jacket, ditched the hammer and called his mother as he sped away in Lomax's vehicle, the courts said.

“She’s dead,” he hysterically told his mother, who flew from Washington D.C. and got him a motel room. Williams’ sister, concerned about her mother’s safety, told police they were at the Red Roof Inn on Panola Road in Lithonia.

Evans, the prosecutor, said that Williams was re-sentenced “based on this violent offender’s history and the brutal nature of the crime he perpetrated on victim Decarla Lomax.”

Read the state supreme court opinion below:

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