A jury spent roughly an hour and 10 minutes Friday to convict Robert Williams of murdering his wife in her West Hill home last spring.
The panel of nine women and three men quickly rejected the arguments of Williams' attorney, Michael Jurena, who admitted Williams killed his wife but claimed it was first-degree manslaughter, not second-degree murder.
That charge would have brought a maximum of 25 years in prison for Williams, 41, a convicted sex offender. He now faces 25 years to life for the murder conviction at his March 7 sentencing.
Sharene Wallace, 37, known as Sakina, was stabbed more than 30 times in the neck inside 279 Sherman St. between May 26 and May 29. Her body was found stuffed in a closet. Williams, who fled to New York City before his arrest, admitted killing his new bride to friends and spoke at length to Albany police.
Chief Assistant District Attorney David Rossi said Williams believed Wallace was cheating on him, but killed his wife because he objected to her behavior in their Muslim community.
"I think it's clear the defendant felt slighted by Sharene," Rossi told jurors. "He may regret where he sits today. He does not regret what he did."
He played the jury part of Williams' videotaped interview with police. A detective showed Williams a photo of Wallace and referred to the victim as a Muslim woman. In turn, Williams responded: "Muslim woman? If she was a Muslim woman none of this (expletive) would even exist."
Rossi said Williams took his wife's cellphone and text-messaged naked pictures of her to all her contacts making it appear that Wallace sent out the pictures herself.
One text said: "I'm so evil I tried to contract AIDS and give it to my loving and caring husband."
Another text said: "This is me, Sheitan," a word for the devil.
Another text stated: "I'm sorry everyone but I pretend like I'm a Muslim when in all reality I'm a (prostitute) and I represent Satan."
An incredulous Rossi told the jury, "We're supposed to believe Sharene sent that herself? Really?"