Prosecutor in high-profile murder cases makes it a 3-way Primary to succeed Dave Aronberg

Craig Williams is the 2nd person in the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office to seek the top job.

The prosecutor in an infamous murder-for-hire case that drew national headlines has become the second member of Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg’s staff to put a bid in to succeed him.

Assistant State Attorney Craig A. Williams’ prosecution of the Dalia Dippolito case is just one of many high-profile cases that he’s taken on. With 26 years in the office, Williams has been involved in more than 300 jury trials and is now the Chief Assistant State Attorney to Aronberg.

Running as a Democrat, he’ll be competing with the office’s Deputy Chief Assistant Alexcia Cox, who has been Williams’ colleague for nearly 20 years. His filing makes it a three-way Democratic Primary.

Williams said he’s running because of popular demand.

“It’s the support of all the people in the office, in the community,” he said, on what prompted his bid. “It’s all the people in the legal community coming to me and asking me to run.”

As Chief Assistant State Attorney, Williams is currently responsible for felony trial intake, organized crime and traffic homicide. He oversees the office’s mental health units, and its Gun Club and Belle Glade offices.

He did a brief stint as a defense lawyer between 2010 to 2012 and then headed back to the State Attorney’s Office.

Dippolito was handed a 16-year prison sentence for trying to hire a hitman to kill her then-husband, Michael, after a third trial. The situation became famous because she was filmed for an episode of Cops trying to hire a hitman, actually an undercover Boynton Beach police officer, to kill her husband. She was a newlywed and footage of her being told that he was dead went viral as she wept dramatically.

Williams also prosecuted the case of Jeffrey Lamb, who was convicted of murdering his wife for an insurance policy and is now serving a life sentence.

This will be Williams’ first run for office.

“You only get one real shot at getting justice for all involved,” he said, according to a news release. “My goal is to make sure we get it right every time.”

Cox — who, if elected, would be the first African American to serve as Palm Beach State Attorney — has also drawn significant support. Her first campaign finance report shows she raised $52,000. Another Democrat running, defense lawyer Gregg Lerman, has raised a total of nearly $21,000 for his campaign.

Williams has been married to CBS 12 News Anchor Liz Quirantes for 36 years, his news release says.  They have two adult children, Casey and Emma, and a new Aussie Doodle puppy named Louie.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


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