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Man accused of decapitating woman, starting fire in Clarksville home, ordered held without bond

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 11:18 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2021 at 10:48 PM EDT
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CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) - Police say the man charged with killing a Clarksville, Ind. woman and setting fire to her apartment mutilated the woman’s body.

Brian Montez Williams, 36, of Clarksville, is charged with murder, arson, and theft. Williams is being held without bond at the Clark County Jail in Jeffersonville and is scheduled to be back in court September 1.

In a probable cause affidavit, Clarksville police say emergency crews were called to the 400 block of Kensington Drive after a resident of the apartment building called 911 to report smoke coming from a neighboring apartment. A Clarksville police officer was the first to arrive and found the apartment door hot to the touch.

After Clarksville firefighters entered the apartment, they found a woman on the floor. When firefighters tried to move the body, they found the victim, later identified as Melody Gambetty, 67, had been decapitated, according to court records.

Once the fire was out, Clarksville police detectives examining the scene also found the woman’s fingers and toes were missing. Major Joel DeMoss with the Clarksville Police Department said it was one of the most horrific crime scenes.

“In my 23 years (in law enforcement) we’ve all seen a lot of crazy stuff, and some things just don’t make any sense,” DeMoss said.

Detectives identified a man who neighbors say was in the area a day earlier soliciting community service work as a person of interest. One of the neighbors was able to provide a name of “Brian W” and a phone number the man had left. One witness said the man had a “rubber style hunting boot.”

When police called the number, a man answered and identified himself as Brian Williams, the affidavit states. The detective told Williams they were investigating an arson and needed to speak with him. Williams gave detectives his address. During their interview with Williams, detectives said he was wearing boots matching the description given by witnesses.

When detectives reviewed surveillance video from a camera across the street, they saw Williams arrived at the apartment complex at 12:03, but he did not go inside the building. The video showed Williams returning to the building about 40 minutes later and going inside.

Just over three hours later, police say Williams was recorded on the video leaving the building with a suitcase in each hand, which contained body parts, and getting into Gambetty’s red Kia. The video showed the car was parked in front of the building when Williams had originally arrived nearly four hours earlier.

Detectives went back to Williams’ apartment and placed him under arrest.

After obtaining a search warrant for Williams’ apartment, police found suitcases belonging to Gambetty containing human remains, Gambetty’s personal items and a small saw with human tissue and blood on the blade.

Clarksville police say there was no prior relationship between Gambetty and Williams and the crime appears to be a botched robbery.

Gambetty’s best friend, Lisa Bryant, told WAVE 3 News the woman was a sweet, Christian lady who loved her cats and “didn’t have a mean bone in her body.”

“I know she fought back, I know she did because she was always scared because she lived by herself, I know she fought back, and I know she’s in heaven,” Bryant said.

“The Lord will take care of him,” she said of the suspect. “He will get his judgement, whether it’s in court or wherever it may be, I know he’ll get his.”

Clark County prosecutor, Jeremy Mull told WAVE 3 News he plans to pursue an accelerated sentence, but is not certain what it will be yet. He added there could be a possibility for the death penalty upon further investigation.

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