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This Day in Georgia History

May 04, 1989

Third Trial of Jim Williams Began

In Augusta, testimony began in the murder trial of Savannah antique dealer Jim Williams, who was charged with murder for shooting Danny Lewis Hansford. Williams had been convicted in two trials, but had appealed and received new ones; the third ended in a mistrial. In this fourth trial, he would be acquitted. The story of the shooting and trials would lead author John Berendt to write Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which was printed in Jan. 1994 and quickly became a best-seller, inspiring a movie by the same name.