'He won't let go': Husband stalks divorce-seeking wife from his cell

guybehindbars400
Kendall Williams, who almost killed his ex-wife, continues to terrorize her - legally - from his cell by fighting their divorce every step of the way, armed only with the prison law library. (Photo illustration)

FOUR YEARS after her husband shot her six times, repeatedly raped her and left her bleeding on the bathroom floor for hours, Crystal Haynes says that she's being victimized by him again - in court.

Today, she is to appear in Montgomery County Family Court for the ninth time in about 18 months to try to finalize a no-fault divorce she filed in 2005.

Her ex-husband, Kendall Williams, 49, is acting as his own attorney - filing motion after motion to prevent the divorce decree - from his jail cell at SCI Smithfield, a state prison in Huntingdon, Pa., where he's serving a 17 1/2-to-35-year jail term for attempted first-degree murder in the attack.

"I can't take it anymore," said Haynes, 49, who testified against him at a 2005 preliminary hearing for attempted murder.

"How much more can I be victimized? How can he keep dragging me back to court? Why is the judge allowing this?

"Why am I being subjected to this man's control?" she asked. "I'm still terrified of him. I want to have a normal life. I want closure."

Williams, former president of the Inquirer and Daily News security guard union from 1990 to 2001, is challenging every detail in the divorce, as if he were negotiating a union contract, she says.

Haynes said that there was no joint property to divide. But that hasn't stopped him. With each new motion, the two face each other on video monitors - he from prison, and she from court.

On a recent list of 98 demands, he wanted alimony, medical insurance, a washer/dryer, TV, computer printer, a videotape of his wife giving birth to their daughter, jewelry he gave his wife, the couple's two Siamese cats (Miles and Simba), and perishable and nonperishable food.

"In his prison cell?" she asked, in disbelief.

Two months ago, Williams sought a paternity test for their 28-year-old son, a motion denied by Family Court.

"I cannot imagine the frustration and anger [Crystal] feels," said Karen Model, an attorney with Montgomery County Crime Victims Project, who represents Haynes pro bono in her divorce, and who accompanied her during attempted-murder proceedings.

Model hopes that the property issues are resolved today.

"If he files something, he has the right to be heard," she said. "The problem is, he won't stop.

"The judges in Montgomery County are some of the finest anywhere," she added. "If they felt they could stop this, they would."

Williams' mother, Audrey Williams, 68, says that she believes that her son wants the divorce. "They should have never been married," she said. "Maybe things bother him. They could play on his mind."

Asked about 98 items he requested, she said, "I don't know why he would want to do that."

As for the birthing tape, she added, "He wants his things.

"In several letters, he said he was sorry things turned out like this," she added. "He messed up his life, her life, but he stayed in touch with his daughter. I think he does have remorse."

Model disagrees. "To me, he's a scary guy," she said. "He has such vengeance and hatred for her. He shows no remorse."

The divorce was granted in 2005, but the property distribution has not been resolved. Haynes must appear before a master, lawyer Mindy Harris, who must resolve property issues before making a recommendation to Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge R. Stephen Barrett, who issues the final decree.

Neither Harris nor Barrett returned calls for comment.

"We try to keep her away" from Williams in court, Model said. "He thinks he's Perry Mason. In his warped mind, he thinks there is case law" for his position.

Model blames access to the prison law library for Williams' frivolous motions, but a state prison spokeswoman said that, by law, prisons cannot prohibit access to the library.

Barton Washington, 53, a friend of the couple for about 30 years, last spoke to Williams about a year ago.

"Everything was about the things she did," he said. "No matter what she did, she didn't deserve to be shot six times. He had affairs all over the place.

"He's doing all he can to hold this [divorce] up," he added.

Haynes said that she turned over receipts - for trips and a swimming pool and deck he had built for a girlfriend - to her attorney.

The couple met at Cheney University in the late '70s. By April 2005, the 20-year marriage had been unraveling for some time when Haynes filed for divorce.

Haynes said that she was fed up with her husband's paranoia, the tracking device on her car, the private eye following her, in addition to Williams' federal conviction for a $32,000 theft of union funds, criminal charges for writing bad checks, his lies and girlfriends.

And she had begun to see someone else.

A month after she filed for divorce, Williams called her at work saying that he was going to commit suicide. She notified police, who took him in for a mental- health evaluation, Haynes said.

Williams' mother saw the incident differently. "Crystal thought he was talking crazy and put him in the hospital," she said.

On Sept. 5, 2005, Haynes was packing her belongings and getting ready for work when her out-of-work husband followed her from room to room in their three-bedroom apartment at Valley Forge Towers, in King of Prussia.

Thus began a 14-hour ordeal.

Hiding a gun under a pillow, he fired, striking her in the back, as she stood in the bathroom.

"I tried to get past him to the bedroom," she said. "We struggled, and he dragged me back in the bathroom and shoots me again in the pelvis and hip."

Standing over her, Williams yelled: "How did you get the money for the apartment?" He had been accessing her financial accounts, she said.

After she fell, she said, he sat on the floor, just inches away, and fired three more times, hitting her left earlobe, right hand, and right side of her neck.

"I don't want to die!" she pleaded, screaming in fear. "What about our kids?"

Then, she collapsed, pretending to be dead.

Williams disappeared, hid her car in a garage and when he returned, he took off his clothes, she said. With a towel, he wiped the dripping blood from her shattered pelvis.

"Then, he raped me orally and with penetration," she said. "A 200-pound-plus man, laying on me, raping me. There's nothing I could do."

For nine hours, she drifted in and out of consciousness on the bathroom floor, as blood coagulated around her.

About 6 p.m., her adrenalin spent, she awakened to pain all over her body. She tried to get up, only to realize she couldn't walk. Her leg was paralyzed. She wrapped a cord around the bathrom door knob, trying to keep it shut, keep him away.

Suddenly, a gunshot blasted. The bathroom door flew open. Williams stood there, a gun in his hand, she said.

"I'm going to kill myself," he told her.

Sobbing in pain, she said, "I can't walk."

He asked her to shoot him. She refused.

He told her he wasn't going to hurt her anymore.

She pleaded with him to call his mother, the police, anyone. She said she thought he was pretending to make calls in the bedroom, yet he mentioned nothing about her, naked from the waist down, on the floor in the next room. Crying, she told him whatever came to mind just to end the torture.

Finally, he called police, saying "My wife's hurt."

When Upper Merion police arrived about 10 p.m., they arrested Williams and found his tape-recorded confession saying that he was sorry. He was charged with attempted first-degree murder and 30 other counts, and held on $5 million bail.

Paramedics had Haynes airlifted to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where she underwent multiple surgeries over 2 1/2 weeks.

Bullets had knicked her liver, fractured her right hand, left hip and a rib, and damaged nerves from her hip to her ankle, where she had no feeling.

Doctors told her that a bullet, which hit the right side of her neck, was so close to a main artery that she was lucky she hadn't bled to death.

While she was hospitalized, Haynes said, Valley Forge Towers demanded $1,000 to clean up the bloodied apartment, which she paid, and wanted her belongings out by the end of the month. Two Montgomery County detectives and their friends volunteered to move her.

After her release, she required two more operations to reconstruct her left ear and damaged neck. Her sister took her in, setting up a hospital bed in her living room. Haynes spent more than 18 months in physical therapy before she could walk again.

Model accompanied her to nearly 10 meetings with detectives and assistant District Attorney Wallis Brooks to prepare for the criminal case.

On July 9, 2007, almost two years after the incident, Williams pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder and a weapons violation. The other 29 charges were dropped.

Within weeks of his Oct. 2, 2007, sentencing, Williams appealed his conviction and began filing motions to challenge his divorce. Until the court stopped him, he sent legal documents to his ex-wife at her sister's home, instead of to her lawyer.

Ellen Adler, of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said that "perpetrators are manipulative and will use any means to harass or victimize the victim," including the courts.

In a global sense, she added, if the court is made aware of "an abuse of [the legal] process," the judge could say, " 'We've heard enough' and stop the case.

"It sounds like this guy is a classic abuser," she added. "He won't let go." *