2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: Two women murdered in rural Powell


Within the span of a few weeks, two Powell women were killed by their partners in rural Powell.

On Aug. 7, John C. Bright, 74, shot and killed his long-time partner, 64-year-old Mary Ann Bier, before killing himself at their home on Jonathon Road, west of Powell.

A spokesman for the Park County Sheriff’s Office said at the time that the couple’s relationship had recently soured — with Bright becoming despondent after learning that Bier planned to leave him. Sheriff Scott Steward said there had been no prior history of violence.

Just 19 days later, the Sheriff’s Office was called to the scene of another killing, this time on Lane 11 south of Powell.

Authorities alleged David Williamson, 64, murdered his wife, Shirley Williamson, 65. David Williamson reportedly told investigators that he shot and killed Shirley Williamson after she tried shooting him with an unloaded gun and asked him to kill her. She had been suffering from mental health problems, including paranoia, investigators have said in court documents.

David Williamson pleaded not guilty to a count of second-degree murder last month, with a trial tentatively set for April. However, attorneys involved in the case have indicated that they have been discussing the possibility of resolving the case through some kind of plea deal.