published Friday, June 20th, 2014

Summerville woman arrested after man shot to death

The Chattooga County Sheriff's Office has arrested a 53-year-old Summerville, Ga., woman who had a romantic history with William Robert Packer in connection with his June 14 slaying.

Deborah Elaine Wilkins was arrested by investigators Thursday in the slaying of Packer, who was found dead from multiple gunshots in his home about 4 p.m. Saturday after someone called 911, according to Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader.

According to Sheriff's Office records, Wilkins told deputies in April 2010 that she was lying in bed trying to sleep when Packer, her boyfriend at the time, came into the room and pressed a loaded Colt .45 to her head and accused her of sleeping with other men, eating his food and drinking his Coca-Cola.

And, according to court records, Packer's home has been a violent crime scene more than once before.

According to neighbors, the atmosphere at Packer's home could easily switch without notice from welcoming to dangerous.

In May 2007, Packer fired shots at his wife, who was sitting on a couch, and hit the floor near her feet.

And in October 2010, six months after the incident with Wilkins, Packer shot and killed James Kirby, whom he accused of stealing from his home. Packer told investigators that he had no choice in the shooting because Kirby was high on cocaine and was going to stab him.

Packer was later acquitted by Chattooga County juries in two separate murder trials, the most recent in April.

Wilkins has been booked into the Chattooga County Jail. More information will be released when it's available.

Contact staff writer Alex Harris at aharris@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592.

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