Murder of a Preacher's Wife: Harris, Wayne, Rebecca, Daniel

A Sincere Apology?
“I remember very little of shooting the pastor and his wife,” Harris says. “I was an alcoholic. I had been drinking for approximately 14 weeks. I was manipulated by Horry Watts. One of Horry’s friends told me many, many times that my wife was sleeping with Reverend Nichols. The Reverend Nichols stated that I walked into his home, pulled a gun, that I shot him, turned and shot his wife. It was so hard for me to believe that I had committed such an act. I have asked myself why I had ever let my life get in this position to kill two people that I love so dearly. Prison is a place where you lose touch with all people. It was one of the worst times in my life. I have thought about Rebecca and little Daniel many times. I was always wanting to try to reach out and let her know that I was very sorry for what I had caused for her and her family. I have never reached out to her because I’m afraid that she still will not be able to forgive me once she looks into my eyes."

Dr. Phil first sits down with Wayne Drash, senior producer for Wayne visited Sellerstown, where the murder took place, to research this story in depth after reading Rebecca’s book.

Wayne says Sellerstown is a community of only 50 people, and he wanted to see the ripple effect of an event 33 years ago. He says the effect is still felt in that town today. When he first met Harris Williams, they talked at length about what happened.  

Harris Williams joins the men onstage. Harris doesn’t deny that he shot the Nichols. He says he was told many times by various men that his wife was cheating on him with the preacher.

[AD]“It’s your understanding now that Horry Watts got these people to tell you that because he was setting you up to go into a rage against these people,” Dr. Phil says.

“Yes, sir,” he says.

“You’ve been told that you did this, but you don’t have any recollection of it whatsoever?” Dr. Phil asks.

“No, sir.” Harris says he vaguely remembers being arrested. He says when he woke up in jail and was told what he was being charged with, he was devastated.“What do you want to say to Rebecca and Daniel?” Dr. Phil asks.  

[AD]“It’s been 33 years. I was in prison for 20-some years, and I’ve been out for 11 years. And my dream the entire time was to one day be able to sit down and talk to her and Daniel and let them know that I was so sorry for what I had done to their family,” Harris says. He says he’s happy to answer any questions they have or anything to help ease their minds.

Dr. Phil speaks backstage with Rebecca and Daniel before they meet Harris.