Victoria Rickman

Victoria Rickman

June 05, 2020

"Toxic people project their own character defects onto their victims. They do this by accusing the victims of the exact actions they themselves do but deny."
-Shannon Thomas
It was the 13th of September 2013. A Friday. Thirty year old Victoria Rickman called 911 from the house she lived in on Clifton Road in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. It was 2.30am when Victoria made the call:
“He tried to rape me again and I tried to ask him to stop and I shot him. I just kept shooting and shooting and shooting and shooting. I shot him all over. I didn’t want to hurt him, but he wouldn’t stop.”
The man Victoria shot was her boyfriend Will Carter Jr. and police would soon discover that their relationship was a tumultuous one and there was a lot more to the story than that initial 911 call. 
Victoria Rickman and Will Carter
Victoria Rickman was divorced and a mother of one son. Thirty year old Will was a father also. He had an eight year old daughter. Will and Victoria met through mutual friends and for a period, they worked well together. Will was a businessman and Victoria was a marketing consultant. But the relationship changed when they got engaged and moved in together. They fought non stop. There was a history of verbal and physical abuse, false accusations of sexual assault, threats to obtain temporary protective orders that never came to fruition and numerous calls to 911. It was clear that they were not good together but despite breaking up, they still could not stay away from each other. 
Will's parents, Caro and William Sr,  did not like Victoria and warned their son to stay away from her. His father saw the aftermath of some of their arguments. One time, he saw Will bleeding. Will told him Victoria hit him over the head with a hammer and bit him in the back. So it was no surprise that the two were involved in an altercation again. But this time, it ended in Will's death. 
Will Carter Jr
In the days leading up to his death, Will and Victoria were talking and meeting again. But three days before Will's death, he called 911 and requested that officers remove Victoria from his residence.When the police arrived, Victoria told them Will hit her but she had no visible injuries. Police discovered that Victoria had sent text messages to Will's phone that included false accusations that Will had kidnapped and threatened her. Police removed Victoria from the home and Will told her never to contact him again. 
Victoria and Will
But Victoria did contact him again. She also contacted the mother of his daughter and he wasn't happy about that. A few hours before his death, Will sent Victoria a text message:

"You are too dangerous to be around. Never contact me or mother of my child again."

He also confirmed that he would follow up on criminal charges against her in relation to the assault. This made her worried. She was afraid that an assault charge would cause issues with the custody of her child. 

That day, the 13th of September, Victoria admitted shooting Will with a .40 caliber semiautomatic that was in her bedroom. When the police arrived, they found no sign of any forced entry. Victoria was standing in the doorway holding a small dog. Her hair was wet and she had on a clean pair of pajamas. She did not appear to be injured. Nothing in the home seemed to be disturbed or out of place. She told police:
 “he raped me again and I shot him.”

Victoria claimed she shot Will in self defense. But Police investigating the crime, saw an entirely different crime scene to the one Victoria portrayed. They believed Will was standing at the time with his back to her and not facing her when he was shot. They believed he was standing next to the bed facing the window when he was shot in the back three times. One of those shots filled his lungs with blood and caused him to cough. That was evident, they claimed, from the pattern of the blood spray on the wall next to the window. After Will coughed, they believed he fell back on to the bed. Victoria continued shooting him and fired more shots into his chest and his head.  

Victoria was arrested and charged with:

malice murder, felony murder predicated on aggravated assault, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm

As Victoria had claimed she was raped, she was taken for a rape exam. It showed that she had intercourse but there were no internal injuries. Victoria told the treating physician that Will forced her to have vaginal sex and he then restrained and beat her. To defend herself, she grabbed a gun from the nightstand and shot him.

The treating physician found no injures on Victoria that were consistent with her description of events. There were no signs of trauma to her vaginal cavity.
At Victoria's Trial, it was the Prosecution's case that this was cold blooded murder and one that Victoria had planned. She lived with the owner of the house, Andrew Scarr. That night, she asked Andrew to stay with his mother as she wanted to be alone. But just thirty minutes later, she was in contact with Will and he arrived at the house sometime after midnight. The Prosecution claimed that this was not a self defense case and this was evident from the testimony of the treating physician and the manner in which Will's body was found. Police found Will laying face up on the bed with multiple gunshot wounds to his body. He was naked. His clothes were on the floor next to the bed and his watch was the nightstand and his gold chain necklace in his left hand. 

Will and Victoria

The Autopsy revealed he had been shot ten times. Four of the shots were to his chest, three times in the back, once on the arm, and twice in the head. There were bruises on his chin and left arm which were likely caused by a blunt object. The medical examiner concluded that Will died as a result of his gunshot wounds.

The murder weapon, a .40-caliber semi- automatic firearm, was found inside the drawer of the nightstand. There was blood spatter on the wall, curtains, window, and a pillow on the floor. The State’s crime scene expert opined that Will was standing and facing the bedroom wall when he was shot in the back, after which he fell to the bed and the remaining shots were fired.

The Prosecution told the Court how Will had sent text messages to Victoria describing her as the love of his life. He wanted to be with her but she treated him badly and he expressed his anguish that she would call the police and make false allegations against him. 

The Prosecution also told the Court that Victoria sent herself threatening text messages but made it appear as if Will had sent them to her.

They also introduced evidence that on at least two occasions Victoria assaulted Will but called the police and said that he assaulted her. Furthermore, they introduced evidence that this was a pattern of repeated behaviour. Victoria threatened to falsely accuse her ex boyfriend, William Plunkett, of rape too.

The gun Victoria used to shoot Will was given to her by a law enforcement officer, Cobb County Deputy Sheriff Rick Price, just a few months earlier. He met her at a Courthouse. She told him she was afraid and he gave her the gun, one of his personal guns. 

He even brought her to a gun range to practice. Disturbingly, he was the first one she called after she shot Will. She called him before making the 911 call. He confirmed he was interested romantically in Victoria but denied claims that they were more than friends. 

The Defense claimed that Victoria was a "battered woman" , a victim of domestic abuse and as such Will's death was the result of self defense. They claimed the investigating Detective who arrived at the scene rushed to judgment because she had a  camera crew with her for a true-crime TV series, "Inside Homicide." 

The Defense claimed that Victoria was raped that night and Will had arrived at the house and seemed intoxicated. They called his psychiatrist, Dr. John Lochridge, to testify. He said that three days before Will's death, Will reported having delusions and had been taking an anti-psychotic drug to help him sleep better.

A former chief medical examiner for the State of Georgia, Dr. Kris Lee Sperry, testified for the Defense and opined that Victoria fired the first shots into Will's chest, not his back. 


With two very different versions of events, it was up to the Jury to decide based on all the evidence that was presented to them at the Trial. Was this a case of a woman who had been a victim of domestic violence, one who had been subjected to emotional, sexual and physical abuse, and shot her attacker in self defense? Or was this a cold and calculated killer, one who planned a murder and had a history of telling lies, abusing others physically and emotionally and making false allegations?

It took the Jury less than one hour to reach a Verdict. They found Victoria guilty on all four charges. 

Victoria Rickman spoke to the Judge:

"Your honor, thank you for the time to speak and clarify the facts of this case. I am a mother who has been stolen from her son's life. I am a battered woman. I am a victim who continues to suffer the nightmares and symptoms of PTSD caused from being forced to defend myself in years of abuse. So I ask you, your honor, to return me to my son and life and give me back my voice and my dignity."

Victoria did not express any remorse for shooting Will. And the Judge showed no leniency. The Judge sentenced her to life without the possibility of parole. There was domestic violence in this case and Will was the victim. He paid the ultimate price.  

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