Atlanta police were called to a home off Clifton Road in southeast Atlanta at 2:30 a.m. Sept. 13, where they found William Carter Jr., 31, lying dead from several gunshot wounds.
Marietta native Victoria Rickman, 30, Carter’s former girlfriend, was charged with felony murder and denied bond by Judge Courtney L. Johnson in DeKalb County Superior Court on Oct. 4.
The District Attorney’s office will bring the case before a grand jury next month, then a Superior Court judge will be assigned an arraignment for the formal indictment.
Attorney Harold Buckler of Sergio & Associates in Buford is representing Rickman, a graduate of Marietta High School who told police she was raped by Carter the night of the shooting and pulled the trigger in self-defense.
The Carter family has hired attorney R. Stephen Roberts to help DeKalb County Assistant District Attorney Zina Gumbs in prosecuting Rickman in the slaying.
“I have gathered up some witnesses and met with the DA to pass on information three or four times,” Roberts said.
Roberts said Rickman has a history of erratic behavior, which is evident by her allegedly shooting Carter 10 times when he was unarmed and naked, and then did not immediately call 911.
There is no credibility in Rickman’s claim of self-defense, because she invited Carter into the home she was living in at the time, Roberts said.
Another Cobb angle to case
Another twist to the case is that the murder weapon allegedly belonged to Cobb County Deputy Sheriff, Fredrick Price, which led to him being fired on Sept. 21.
Assistant Chief Deputy Don Hunton with the Cobb Sheriff’s Office said Price had no prior disciplinary issues since he joined the force in 2004, and any criminal investigation will be handled in DeKalb.
Hunton said Price did not cooperate with the internal investigators at the Cobb Sheriff’s Office, which is a requirement of employment.
“He chose not to participate and that was the reason for termination,” Hunton said.
A history of arrests
The relationship between Rickman and Carter had a long and violent history, with both of them being arrested in Cobb County for allegedly attacking the other.
On Jan. 17, 2012, Carter was arrested while living off Powers Ferry Road in Marietta for on sexual battery and simple assault.
The warrant stated Carter held Rickman down, causing bruising to her arms and legs, while he “did forcibly fondle and kiss” Rickman’s intimate parts.
Roberts said Rickman often made false allegations against Carter and then used those cases to extort money from him.
“She didn’t have two nickels to rub together that (Carter or other men) didn’t provide for her,” Roberts said.
On May 9, Rickman was arrested on a felony charge of battery and family violence after she entered Carter’s home off Bells Ferry Road without his consent, according to the arrest warrant.
When Rickman refused to leave, the couple had a physical altercation in which she scratched the back of Carter’s arm and right cheek and pulled on a gold necklace, leaving visible red marks, the warrant stated.
Roberts said Carter’s friends have come forward to talk about Rickman’s extreme manipulation and how it benefited her life.
Rickman has a tattoo that states, “from chaos comes clarity,” according to arrest records.
At one time, the couple lived together, and even after the separation Carter could not break his tie to Rickman.
“The heart will do what the heart will do,” Roberts said about Carter, who cared for Rickman and would not leave her.
Roberts said Carter had a reputation for helping “wounded-puppy” people who had rough lives and were in need.
This included Carter opening the Georgia Select Insurance Co. in Marietta, with five offices and 30 employees, which specialized in providing car insurance to high-risk customers that needed a second chance, Roberts said.
Carter is survived by his parents, William James Carter and Caro Chisholm Carter of Marietta, and 8-year-old daughter, Lilly.