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SUSPECT SAID HE STABBED A MAN, FORMER GIRLFRIEND SAYS

A woman testifying in the trial of accused murderer Gary Lynn Williams said Thursday that Williams told her that he had stabbed a man and left him for dead several days after a body was found in downtown Salt Lake City in October, 1991.

Williams' former girlfriend, Carol Benedict, testified in 3rd District Court that Williams said he had "stabbed some dude and left him for dead." The body of Adam Arroyo Garcia was found lying at 1165 S. Richards St. (25 West) the morning of Oct. 15.Williams, 33, Magna, is charged with murder in Garcia's death.

When asked by defense counsel Richard Uday why she had previously protested Williams' innocence, Benedict admitted she had forgotten the conversation until her new boyfriend reminded her of it.

Another witness, Melinda Williams, who is not related to the defendant, said Gary Williams and another man nicknamed "Merlin" purchased cocaine for her and others on the night of Oct. 14. After returning with the drug, however, the two men found they had not received as much as they had paid for and became angry.

"Gary grabbed his knife," Melinda Williams said. "He told Merlin, `Let's go.' They were going to go and look for the guy they got it from."

In a preliminary hearing last April, Salt Lake Police Detective Charles Oliver testified that some members of the illegal drug community called Garcia a "cheat" because he sometimes kept money and drugs when acting as a go-between for those looking for cocaine and those selling it.

Williams said she didn't see the two men until the next day when they asked to watch the news on her television. "They were on the edge of their seats watching carefully."

She asked them afterward if they had seen what they were looking for, but they replied no. Later, the same day the men returned to watch the news again and left after the segment on the Garcia homicide aired.

Williams also testified the defendant told her he had "killed for less" when she was discussing the Garcia slaying with him.

The prosecution expects the trial to continue into next week.