‘She did it; all her fault’ — NJ 8-year-old helps pin murder charge on mom
BRICK — A little girl whose violent, gangster father already is locked up, likely for life, could now see her mother also go to prison.
Police this week charged 27-year-old township resident Ciara Williams with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of her 35-year-old fiancé, Dennis Power.
Helping investigators clinch the case against Williams was the woman’s own 8-year-old daughter, who told police that her mother “did it and it was all her fault.”
Williams, accompanied by her attorneys, turned herself in Monday afternoon after briefly going on the run. She is arguing self defense. Her jail booking photo shows her with a black eye.
Prosecutors say Williams stabbed Power in the chest on Sunday afternoon at their Brick Gardens apartment on Hooper Avenue, then drove him in her Mercedes C30 to Ocean Medical Center, dropping off the dying man before bolting.
Police say she then dumped her car and took an Uber to the Ocean County Mall, where she handed her daughter to her mother, who lives in Neptune Township. Williams disappeared until the next day.
Immediately after stabbing Power, investigators say Williams called her mother and her friends, including Ramelo Adonis.
According to prosecutors, Adonis told police that Williams admitted stabbing Powers. He said that she asked Adonis for help in cleaning up her apartment and getting rid of evidence, including her car. The 37-year-old Brick resident was arrested Tuesday and charged with hindering apprehension and prosecution.
Records show that police had previously been called to the couple's home for domestic violence reportedly committed by Williams. His family this week said that they hope to raise awareness about male victims of abuse.
Williams has led a life of crime, once describing her occupation as “shoplifting.” She testified in the trial against the father of her child, helping prosecutors put away Asbury Park Bloods leader James “Dough Boy” Fair for 82 years.
Fair is the man who gave the order in a bungled robbery of what should have been a drug dealer. Fair, however, provided the wrong address and his henchmen ended up killing school teacher Jonelle Melton in her Neptune City apartment in 2009.
During that trial in 2017, Williams admitted that her toddler daughter was present as she and Fair sold drugs and committed robberies. The girl was present while Fair once ordered a gangland execution, she said. She also testified that another gang leader once pulled a gun on her daughter’s babysitter, according to Asbury Park Press coverage of the case.
After being raised amid hardened criminals, Williams’ tender-age child — old enough to still be playing with dolls and coloring books — is now a witness to a homicide, according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by New Jersey 101.5.
On Monday, before Williams surrendered, the little girl gave Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office detectives a blow-by-blow account of what happened on Sunday.
She told detectives that Power threw a shoe at her mother, “which made her very upset,” the affidavit says.
She said her mother then went into the kitchen and she heard Power saying “ow, ow, ow.” She then heard her mother say, “Please stop Dennis, I’m sorry,” the affidavit says.
The girl said her mother drove her and Power to the hospital immediately after.
Hospital records show Power was dropped off about 1:21 p.m. Police arrived eight minutes later, within seconds of doctors pronouncing Power dead.
The girl said she saw blood on her mother’s shoulder and heard her mother call a friend and ask if “she should get rid of it,” the affidavit says.
The girl told detectives that there was blood on the walls and that her mother cleaned the apartment with bleach.
The girl said her mother dropped off her car “at a house by a vegetable stand near the woods” and then they took an Uber to Ocean County Mall, where they shared a cookie before her grandmother picked her up.
The girl told detectives that her grandmother told her that Power had died. The affidavit says that when the detective confirmed that, the girl replied: “She knew what she did and wanted to do it.”
“It’s all her fault,” she added. “She’s gonna be really upset and she’s gonna go to jail.”
The detective asked her why.
“She did it and it was all her fault,” she is quoted as saying.
Investigators used Uber records to piece together the case. The ride-share company said Adonis’ account was used to hail a car from Paris Court in Lakewood at 2:18 p.m. Sunday for a ride that ended at the mall at 2:41 p.m. Paris Court is a cul-de-sac near wooded areas.
Brick police interviewed Adonis at 7:52 p.m. Sunday. He told investigators that Williams called him, crying hysterically. He said Williams told him that she had stabbed Power because he was “beating up on her.” He said Williams asked him to help clean up the scene.
That night, at 10:05 p.m., Adonis posted on Twitter: “Can’t believe what happened today God please keep your hands on this.”
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.