GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) – Police say one week after getting out of jail, Merlin Kent Williams got into an argument with his ex-girlfriend and stabbed her multiple times. Now, more than a year after the vicious attack, the Gulfport man is going to prison.

Thursday, a Harrison County jury found the 33-year-old guilty of Aggravated Assault. Williams was sentenced to the maximum penalty of 20 years, with five years suspended.

The attack happened at the woman’s home on Pine Avenue in Gulfport the morning of July 5, 2016. The victim testified that Williams started an argument, then refused to leave the bedroom. She said he then stabbed her in the chest, arm, back, neck and legs.

“The assault was interrupted when the victim’s roommate banged on the door and called 911. The defendant then fled the scene while the victim stumbled to the front porch,” said ADA Patti Simpson, who prosecuted the case with Mitch Owen.

Testimony revealed that Williams had only been out of jail for a week when the attack happened. He had been serving a six-month sentence for misdemeanor domestic violence.

“Violent crime like this cannot be tolerated. This victim showed commendable bravery in her testimony and thankfully received justice for the crimes committed against her,” said District Attorney Joel Smith.

Merlin Kent Williams (Photo source: Gulfport Police Dept.)

Merlin Kent Williams (Photo source: Gulfport Police Dept.)

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