The first bang woke a Holbrook man out of a sound sleep shortly before 6 a.m., he testified Thursday, and then there was another. Then some yelling and more bangs, instantly recognizable as gunshots.
Scott Williams, now 38, said he first raced up the stairs to check on his daughter the morning of Oct. 15, 2010, then looked out the front window and saw his brother John's car, parked but running. He ran out behind his mother.
"We saw my brother dead, his head and torso laying out of the passenger side of the car," Williams testified at the trial of Reginald Ross, 37, before state Supreme Court Justice William Condon in Riverhead. Ross is charged with second-degree murder in the unrelated killings of John Williams, 39, and Raymond Hirt, 51, of Mastic Beach.
Patricia Williams, the mother of Scott and John Williams, testified during questioning by Assistant District Attorney Robert Biancavilla that she saw her older son first, half out of his car.
"What did you do then?" Biancavilla asked.
"I probably screamed like a maniac," she replied.
The first police officer on the scene, Michael Ochoa Jr., said John Williams had been shot twice in the head and at least once in the torso.
Scott Williams testified that about a week before his brother was killed, a white car with dark windows seemed to be stalking him as he walked to Portion Road to buy cigarettes. The car passed by him several times on his short walk, slowing down each time.
"It kind of gave me the chills, like something was not quite right," he said.
In his opening statement last month, Biancavilla said Ross was targeting Scott Williams. Biancavilla said a friend of the Williams brothers, Kyle Greening, owed Ross money on a drug deal and had left the state, so Ross figured that if he killed Scott Williams, he could then go to the funeral and kill Greening there.
Both Scott and Patricia Williams said Greening didn't come to John Williams' wake or funeral. Patricia Williams said she called him to ask why.
"He said, 'You can't tell anyone where I am,' and he hung up," she said during questioning by defense attorney John Scarpa. "I never spoke to him again."
Scott Williams told Scarpa he was a former drug user, but never sold drugs and never used them with Greening. He said Greening had asked him to get him oxycodone, but he had no idea how to get it.
Hirt was killed May 24, 2010, at a road construction site just off Portion Road. Biancavilla said Ross was upset days before when Hirt, a flagman, made Ross wait one day. Ross felt disrespected, so he stalked him and shot him in the neck as he sat in his car at the start of his work day.
Ross waived his right to a jury, so Condon will decide the verdict himself.