Murder vs self-defense in the death of Aaron Ham

Aaron Ham/submitted photo

Aaron Ham/submitted photo

Aaron Ham spent part of one fall afternoon at the Wagon Wheel, a Picture Rocks convenience store and bar, where he offered a woman a ride back to her nearby home.

Ham spent that autumn evening being stabbed, sliced, struck and left dead in the woman’s yard with a knife sticking out of the back of his neck.

Specifically, the 25-year-old Picture Rocks native had been stabbed more than 16 times, sliced about the face and head, and hit with a blunt object on his upper arms, chest and abdomen, according to autopsy and sheriff records. One stab wound to his skull was so violent it dented the bone.

Ham’s body was lying near the double-wide trailer on the property in the 6500 block of North Hot Desert Trail, where the woman lived with two roommates. One of those roommates was Scott Williams, who was passed-out a mere 3 feet from Ham’s body.

When roused, reports say 57-year-old Williams admitted to killing Ham.

The verdict? There was none. Ham’s brutal Sept. 21 killing never made it to trial. It instead made it into the category of self-defense.

“I was protecting my family,” Williams is quoted as saying in early sheriff reports. “That guy was crazy. He had a knife and I had a knife and I stabbed him.”

Arizona law justifies a self-defense killing if a person is warding off a physical attack, but it does not justify a killing “in response to verbal provocation alone.” Reports say Williams had a sore rib after the killing but told deputies, “I’ve had this before.”

The two women at the trailer said they didn’t see a thing. One claimed she didn’t even notice Ham’s dead body in the yard.

It boiled down to Williams’ word against Ham’s word – and Ham is dead.

Case Dismissed

“The most I can say about the reason for dismissal is that we have the burden to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt and our issuing standard is whether there is a substantial likelihood of conviction,” said David Berkman, chief criminal deputy at the Pima County Attorney’s Office. “In this case we would need to prove that the defendant did not act in self-defense. We felt that there was insufficient evidence to charge the case.”

Ham’s family and friends say otherwise.

“(Look at) the number of stab wounds, slices and blunt force injuries,” said Aaron’s mother Donna Ham. “Seems a little overkill to me.”

Aaron’s aunt, Beth McCreary, who happens to be a retired dispatch supervisor with the Globe Police Department, agreed.

“Why did Aaron have 16 stab wounds and Williams none?” she asked. “It seems like Williams would have had cuts to the hands if he had to struggle and ‘defend’ himself against Aaron. The numbers of stab wounds to Aaron’s body are consistent with anger, not self-defense.”

Both Williams and Ham had been drinking. Williams had been passed out at the scene. Reports say he was wobbling, had to be held up to remain standing, and reeked of alcohol.

Aaron’s autopsy report shows a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between .29 and .33. Arizona’s legal limit is .08. It also shows marijuana in his system.

“If a person weighing 132-pounds and 5-feet 9-inches tall had alcohol four times over the limit, how could he even stand, much less fight?” Donna Ham inquired about her son. “Makes me wonder how he could be a threat enough to be knifed 18 times.”

Aaron Ham with finance Andrea Hall's daughter/submitted photo

Aaron Ham with finance Andrea Hall's daughter/submitted photo

Aaron’s Last Day

Ham, a perpetual salesman and entrepreneur, sold exotic tortoises and had one with him when he stopped by the Wagon Wheel around 4 p.m. to get a soda.

“He could sell ice to an Eskimo,” his mom said.

Aaron met a woman whose boyfriend might be interested in buying the tortoise and the two hung out at the bar for a few drinks before he drove her home.

His mom called him around 6 p.m. “He told me he was at her house and it looked like he was going to make the sale. He would be home for dinner.”

Donna spoke to her son again around 7:30 p.m. “He called me, sounded drunk and said he was dancing and to save dinner for him.” Sheriff reports say Aaron was hanging out drinking with the trailer’s three residents on the back porch.

“I told him to stay safe, maybe stay there if he could because I didn’t think he should drive,” Donna said. “I asked him if he wanted me to come get him. He said he could ride his bike; it was in the back of his car. He wasn’t but just down the road. He was fine and he said, ‘I love you, bye.’”

His 8:45 p.m. call to Donna never connected.

“When I answered he wasn’t there,” she said. “He died 15 minutes later. I’ll never know what the last call was for. He probably needed help. When he really needed help with something he couldn’t get done by himself he always called me.”

By 9 p.m. sheriff deputies were called to the scene on a report of a domestic dispute and found Ham dead in the yard.

The knives had come into play when Williams showed Aaron his knife collection after the two were discussing guns, according to later reports while Williams was at the sheriff station. Williams also added more details to his story, saying Aaron not only came at him with a knife, but threatened to rape the two women and kill everyone in the house.

Williams then asked for an attorney. End of questions. Deputies took Williams home.

The Aftermath

Ham’s fiancé Andrea Hall and his good friend Celeste Reynolds went to the Hot Desert Trail trailer the next day to get Ham’s tortoise – and more information.

“We went there thinking that we would get an explanation as to what happened to Aaron,” Hall said, “but when we got there I was stunned by how these people acted and the story we got.

“The older woman (Williams’ girlfriend) answered the door. Celeste and myself told her who we were, said that we were friends of Aaron’s and that we wanted to know what happened since we knew nothing at that time.

“To our surprise, she invited us right in and said, ‘Sure, if you want to meet the man who killed him, he’s on the back porch.’”

The visit went downhill from there, Hall said, with stories that didn’t match facts and more tales of Aaron’s supposed threats of rape and killing the household.

“Aaron was very against these things,” Hall said of rape and murder. “He would never hurt anyone. I know that in confrontation, Aaron was one to walk away and I believe that he was only trying to leave the night of this incident. Aaron was not a fighter, so even if he was fighting someone off, I do believe that he would try his hardest to get away and call the cops.”

Ham’s longtime friend Lindsay Nissan agreed. “Not a single time did I ever see Aaron get violent or aggressive towards me or anyone around us, sober or otherwise.”

Williams could not be reached for comment. Hall said she heard the three have since left town, leaving many questions – and a dead man – in their wake.

“Why wasn’t law enforcement called to remove Aaron from the Williams’ residence if he was so unruly?” Aaron’s aunt wanted to know. “Why wait until a homicide had to occur? Unreasonable to me.”

Some of McCreary’s questions may never be answered. “How could something this terrible happen to a young man who had a full life ahead of him? What are his mother and dad going to do without him?”

Aaron’s Life

Ham recently moved back into his parent’s house to help his mother care for his 78-year-old father, who has Stage 2 Alzheimer’s.

Ham worked odd jobs around Picture Rocks and Marana while helping his mother with everything from grocery shopping to home repairs, cleaning and errands to looking after his father.

“He did anything and everything he could to help the two people who loved him most,” Nissan said. “Who is supposed to do all that for them now?”

His close relationship with his mom included things like a 3,100-mile camping road trip in a Jeep and daily conversation. “We talked about everything from A to Z,” Donna said, “Girlfriends, drugs, sex, music – you name it.”

“Loving, kind, intelligent” were the three words she chose to best describe her son, a Marana High School graduate who was planning to go to vocational school to get a good-paying job and start a family. “He wanted to be a dad so bad,” his mom said.

“He was a father figure to my daughter,” said fiancé Hall. “He was very proud that she called him dad.”

Aaron with Andrea Hall and her daughter/submitted photo

Aaron with Andrea Hall and her daughter/submitted photo

Aaron and Hall met 14 years ago, and Ham had equally long bonds with his other true friends, namely Reynolds and Nissan. He was more like a brother than an uncle to his nephew Ryan Ham, two years his junior, and close to Reynold’s 12-year-old son William.

“He was drawn to children and they to him,” Donna said, “as he was a teacher and mentor.”

She said he also had the “patience of a saint” and skills that included playing drums, building up computers from scratch and teaching new users how to work them, creative writing, photography and welding artwork or making it out of wire.

“Creating or building something from nothing was his passion,” Donna said.

“He was always coming up with new ideas and they were great, too,” Hall said. “He worked hard every day and had compassion for a lot of people and animals.”

Donna said her son would make breakfast sandwiches for three homeless men who lived in the wash by the Wagon Wheel. He helped people with car problems – even carried around a tow strap, gas can, water and an electric air compressor “just in case.” He did dump runs for older folks who couldn’t do it themselves and even built one man a porch.

“He ran into older people at the (Wagon Wheel). Ended up making an 88-year-old partially blind woman a steel mailbox stand and cemented it in the ground for her, as someone kept pulling hers down. Bet that one will never be taken again,” Donna said, adding he also fashioned such a mailbox for his parents.

“At his service I was told by many folks I didn’t know how he had helped them, what a wonderful young person and how they would miss him.”

Nissan said Aaron made a big impact on her life, especially by pushing her to finish school. “Because of him I am now a successful teacher with a bright future ahead of me and a career I love,” she said.

“He taught me how to play chess. He taught me how to trust again. He taught me how to really, really laugh. He taught me how to forgive, and to accept anyone and everyone no matter what their shortcomings may be because we all have them.”

Hall said he was a fantastic listener who gave equally great advice. “He loved life and cherished the little things that people take for granted,” she said.

He thrived in the great outdoors. “He was so resourceful,” Nissan said, “your all-around Boy Scout – with facial hair.”

His aunt recalled summers in Globe when they would hike, visit the lake, ride ATVs and go to the movies. “It was a joy to be with him and share his life. He was energetic and fun. I don’t remember anything he disliked.

“It is hard for me to believe that the sheriff’s office investigation was as thorough as it could have been. I think Aaron deserves more. I would have rather seen a grand jury make the decision whether or not to take this case to trial. It is almost as if a trial took place in the Pima County Attorney’s Office and they were the jury,” McCreary said.

“I cried in disbelief and wondered how in the world a man can get away with murder.”

Aaron’s mom is equally anguished. “It’s bad enough for his dad and I to lose him,” she said, “but the manner in which it took place is even harder to bear.

“We are left with unanswered questions, broken hearts that will never heal, and 11 pounds of ashes.”

Aaron Ham with mom Donna/submitted photo

Aaron Ham with mom Donna/submitted photo

Those we love don’t go away,
They walk beside us every day,
Unseen, unheard, but always near,
Still loved, still missed and very dear.
Aaron Lyle Ham
12/14/1983  –  09/21/2009




Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and Ryngmaster. Her column usually appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski, but Aaron Ham’s story gets center stage this week. Ryn’s art, writing and more is at and E-mail

logoWhat do you think?

Does Aaron’s death sound like self-defense?

Do you know of similar situations?

Do you have any helpful advice for Aaron’s family and friends on how to get his case to trial?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at
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44 Responses to Murder vs self-defense in the death of Aaron Ham

  1. tiponeill says:

    Of course it doesn’t sound like self defense, but the law can’t solve all of our problems.
    Perhaps our educational system should emphasize that hanging out with drunk armed people in trailer parks is a possible health hazard.
    You might pick up some good story ideas at the Darwin Awards 😉

    • Andrea says:

      You think you know so much, he was in no trailer park. And there should be justice, people should not be going around killing people. The law should solve cases like this, not our problems as you put it. 

      • Rynski says:

        hiya andrea –
        just ignore tip’s comments – most people tend to.

      • Andrea says:

        People are so hateful…

      • Rynski says:

        one of my friends used to always say “hurt people hurt people,” meaning those who lash out with the most hate are those who are most acutely suffering inside.

      • koreyk says:

        “hiya andrea –
        just ignore tip’s comments – most people tend to.”

        While I haven’t read every one of your columns, I have read a lot of them, and this is the first time I can recall you making a negative comment about one of your posters.

        eyes takeout 

      • Rynski says:

        egads – i think you’re right koreyk. guess it was the proverbial straw. will try for more restraint – i do not like perpetuating negativity. it gives me a headache.

      • leftfield says:

        I can’t speak for Mr. Oneill, but underneath the black humor, I didn’t find cause for offense.  Indeed the law is imperfect, especially for those who wield less power in this society.  The way the story is told also involves foreshadowing that lets the reader know that Mr. Ham was walking into a “perfect storm”; obvious to us in retrospect, no doubt not so to Mr. Ham. 

        I’ll be perfectly honest here about another often unspoken and unpleasant issue: for a lot of people, a manufactured home in the Picture Rocks area is considered synonymous with alcohol, crime, poverty, poor education, methamphetamine labs, biker gangs, marginal existence on the fringes of society and a whole host of other negative connotations.   True or not; fair or not, I think this also adds to the sense of foreboding and asking why Mr. Ham found himself in that situation. 

      • Rynski says:

        more good points – thanks for input.

      • kevinp says:

        I actually agree with Lefty on something.

      • Donna Ham says:

        Mr. Letfield,  I am Aaron’s mother.  Even in death I am still his Mom.  Aaron found himself in that situation because he was raised by Dad & Mom, much older parents than most kids had at his age.   Back in the olden days, if a person was having a problem we would stop & try to help.  Aaron was in a car seat at that time.  But, he saw it, he learned it.  If Mom & Dad did it, it couldn’t be bad. His Dad one time brought in a covered wagon, go figure in this day an age.  9 years ago.  Had 2 adults, wife pregnate  & 4 young kids, 2 ponies that had hoof problems  pulling this thing & two goats tied behind the wagon for milk for the kids.  They started only coming from the Sandario/ Ajo area & got to the famous Wagon Wheel in Picture rocks when the poney’s couldn’t go any farther.  Took them 4 days to get that far.  That is where Aaron’s Dad found them. We  hooked up the horse trailer, put the ponies & the goats in, went back & hauled the covered wagon to our house.  Goats got fed, the ponies got fed, the people got fed.  Stayed a week here in our backyard.  This was how Aaron was raised.  That might be how Aaron got into this situation.  He gave a woman he never met that was having problems a ride home.  5 hours later he was stabbed to death.  Hindsight is always better.  If I had known what would happen to him for being a good citizen I would have taught him not to give a fat crap for anybody instead of the way he learned watching us.  This is sad.  I won’t be picking, or helping people up on the road anymore.  To risky.  I’m an old person, his Dad is even much older.  78?  Life has changed, is it for the better?  Or is it for the worse? 

      • tiponeill says:

        I apologies – of course there should be justice. Perhaps Ryn’s column will provoke enough interest for the police to turn up additional evidence.

      • Rynski says:

        aww, how nice of you, tip. thanks. didn’t mean to be negative myself. i do hope the story WILL help in some way. aaron deserves it.

    • Celestial says:

      Thank you so much for taking a special interst in Aaron’s story and giving him a voice and a face to those who didn’t know him. He was my best friend and I miss him so much.  He did not deserve to have his life ended that way. People should be terrified and outraged that this type of crime can go unpunished, that our rights as citizens of this country are being lost because our criminal justice system is unwilling to pursue justice because “our issuing standard is whether there is a substantial likelihood of conviction”. 

      • Rynski says:

        celestial –
        i am glad i could learn more about aaron, give him a voice and tell his story. you are welcome…and it is YOU who should be thanked…
        your help was invaluable in writing this piece.  i also applaud your continued efforts at ensuring aaron’s death doesn’t just fade into the background.
        i know, that ‘likelihood of conviction’ standard is very sad – but too true in too many DA and county attny offices.
        stay strong – stay vocal. you and others close to aaron are phenomenal in your efforts.

    • Melissa says:

      Tiponeill? Possible health hazard? Really? Is that a poor attempt at humor? You failed miserably! God forbid you should loose a child in a manner such as this. I think you would be singing a different tune.

  2. Ferraribubba says:

    Ham was stabbed more than 16 times and was found with the murder weapon still sticking out of the back of his neck? That’s in addition to being sliced about the face, head, and being beaten with a blunt object on the chest, arms, and torso and left lying out on the front yard like some trash waiting to be picked up?
    With all that conclusive physical evidence, I am just wondering why the Pima County Grand Jury and Attrorney’s Office just didn’t rule it a suicide and be done with it?
    Or maybe natural causes. Hey, it could happen!
    But, if it ever would have gone to trial, Williams could have beaten the rap using the ‘Twinkie’ defense. It sure worked for Dan White up in San Francisco, ‘eh, Tipster?
    Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

  3. leftfield says:

    Unfortunately, I doubt that Aaron’s case will receive the same long term attention that Mr. Triano’s death did. 

    I am speculating here, but it seems likely to me that Aaron’s killer murdered him during an alcoholic blackout; during which a person says and does things that are lost to memory and things that would seem incomprehensible to them when sober.  I say this not to mitigate, but to condemn; to condemn alcohol, alcoholism and Aaron’s death.

    It seems rather a common police technique to threaten people involved in a case with prosecution, even when the evidence for a successful prosecution is doubtful.  I wonder why the police didn’t try to “turn” one of the killer’s roomates during the interview process and why the prosecutor didn’t at least offer a plea deal to the killer in hopes of at least getting him off the streets?

    This is a very nice piece, Ryn.  It is the kind of in-depth reporting that is, sadly, in danger of disappearing.  It puts a human face on Aaron Ham, tells us who he was and why we should care about what happened to him.  Kudos and keep up the good work.    

    • Rynski says:

      why, thank you for the fine compliment, leftfield.
      aaron’s story needed to be told once i learned more about it. i couldn’t NOT write it after corresponding with his family and friends.
      the blackout theory is a valid one. i agree – and know from too many people – that alcohol can be a very bad mix in many situations.
      i, wonder, too why law enforcement didn’t use the techniques you bring up. from the records i got, the interview process was quite brief, to say the least. only williams was taken to the station, not the women. and he was home by the following morning. never arrested.
      it is a sad story all around. i thank his family and friends for sharing it and admire them for having the strength and courage to not let it go.

  4. koreyk says:

    Nice work.  Will we be seeing more in depth stories in the future?

    • Rynski says:

      thanks, koreyk.
      if readers like the in-depth, sure i could do more – the trade-off is fewer daily posts to accommodate the time needed. readers – let me know.

  5. Andrew Ulanowski says:

    Hi Ryn, How terrible this is! That’s all the justice this family gets? All the people who put their love into this mans life get a mangled corpse. It sounds like the POLICE decided who was innocent or guilty. Isn’t that supposed to happen in a court of law with EVIDENCE and WITNESSES?
    It scares me to think that this is how things work around here.

    • Rynski says:

      hey andrew,
      i wholly agree – the whole situation turns my stomach – for more reasons than one. it scares me, too – for more reasons than one.

  6. ericheithaus says:

    So sad, too sad for words. You did a great job on the story, thank you

  7. azmouse says:

    Sorry I haven’t been around the last couple of days…sick yet again!

    I remember you saying you were working on a big piece for Friday, so I had to jump on and see what was up. Wonderful work Ryn, and I would love to see more in-depth stuff from you.

    First, my heart goes out to his Mother. Being a Mom myself and knowing our kids the way we do, she knows more than anyone what her son was like and capable of. She knows, along with other family, friends and loved ones that none of this makes sense. It makes no sense the way this has been handled. I never even heard about this until this moment.

    Now, what I want to know is what can we all do right now to get the Police or Sheriff’s Dept. to reopen this case, find all the players that were there that night and get the ball rolling so there can be some justice.

    Can we do an online petition, or door-to-door petition?

     Is there someone we could start bombarding with phone calls?

    Someone let me know what I can do to help….Aaron Ham could be our brother, nephew, boyfriend or son. There has to be something we can all do.

    • Rynski says:

      i was wondering what you were up to, azmouse – sorry to hear it was being sick again. get well soon!
      thanks for remembering big piece was coming friday – and compliments on it. also thanks for input regarding more in-depth stories. i do have an interview monday for something else that could pan out into something big….
      my heart goes to his mom, too – and, not being a mom myself, i cannot even fathom the amount of pain. she is such a strong woman, as are the others i spoke with.
      on action that people could take? you have some good ideas. i don’t know what may help, but maybe someone reading might be able to add some input.
      contacting the Pima County Attorney’s Office and/or the Pima County Sheriff’s Department might be useful. The general contact info for each office is listed online:

      Pima County Attorney:

      By Email:
      By Phone: Main Number (520) 740-5600

      Pima County Sheriff:
      Online contact form at bottom of page:
      Communications (non-emergency) (520) 351-4900


      • azmouse says:

        Great links! I think it’s time to start bugging some folks and light a fire under some butts.

  8. kevinp says:

    Just to play devil’s advocate, you do realize that it is entirely possible that it was self-defense right?
    I mean, just because the family comes on here and says “he was a great guy”, “never hurt a fly”, etc….doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. They weren’t there, and neither were any of us.
    I didn’t know this guy from Adam, but he sounds like any other slacker alky that I’ve ever heard of.
    The family and the fiance have a vested interest in making this out to be a wrongful death, so as callous as it sounds, what they say should be taken with a grain of salt.
    At least PRETEND to have a modocum of impartiality.
    “thank you for giving him a voice”, And “putting a face” on this “tradgedy”
    What if that voice was a threat to kill and rape? What if that face was a menacing snarl?
    You don’t know, so why are you so quick to assume that he was some kind of angel?
    Maybe he was, but what if he wasn’t?
    People who are trained to investigate these things obviously had their doubts, since they didn’t persue it any further. Is there some reason to think that they had a motive to lie, cover up, etc?

    • Celestial says:

      It is true…I for one do not have an impartial opinion about this.  I was very close to Aaron and know the person he was, the parties involved just met him that day…so I did not believe, as I looked into his killers eyes, a word of the alledged threats.  I for one do not make any claims that Aaron was an angel, but he was not “the face a menacing snarl” as you put it. ” I can appreciate the devils’ advocate being voiced, because that is exactly the thing Aaron would say if he were alive and reading about some other person being killed in this manner.  Those involved have made their accusation and told their stories.  However, Aaron can not speak any longer to tell his story, so it is up to us, the ones who knew and loved him, to tell his story for him, of the person we knew him to be through out his lifetime, not just one terrible day.
      And just exactly what vested interest does his family and fiance have in  making this out to be a wrongful death? Financial?! To clear his name is the only vested interest I see.  I think any one who cared for someone they knew to be wrongly accused would want to see their name cleared too.  Wouldn’t you?

  9. Cynthia says:

    This is a terrible crime and a heartbreaking story and I hope justice comes for Aaron Ham.  However, I am also asking for some justice for Picture Rocks regarding the horrible claims made above about the residents.  I lived there for over 12 years and rarely locked my doors.  I know many good people there, some of the best people I know, who watch out for their neighbors and don’t tolerate crime and bad behavior.  Picture Rocks is one of the last beautiful places to live left around Tucson and I hope to be able to move back there again some day.

    • Gene says:

      Well spoken Cynthia,  justice for Picture Rocks area, Aaron Ham & the people living in mobile homes.  As a statement was made about this area.  Meth labs, not educated, trailer trash was what a person would think reading that comment.  It’s not true.  Wonder if that person knows what it costs to buy even one acre?  Then we have to put in utility lines, water lines, phone lines, purchase propane tanks, not to mention a satalite dish if we would like to watch tv.  No cable out here, no natural gas either.  The price of that acre just went up to around 45 grand.  Now, we have to put something to live in on it.  I’ve lived here for 28 years.  As it grows we of course will have more crime.  Just like the City of Tucson.  Isn’t it beautiful to watch that sunset?  Ride your horses?  Listen to the Rooster that loves it too.  No place like it.  
      “Trailer Trash” bull.     

  10. radmax says:

    Excellent, if one sided reporting Rynski. Not your fault if the ‘gang of three’ would not speak to you.
    I hate to say it, but some of the cynics commenting here have a valid point; that the guy should have known something was up, unless totally inebriated. If Mr. Ham was that hammered, who knows what the hell he could have been saying or doing?
    I know from friends relating incidents I had no recollection of from my foolish heavy drinking days. This is what finally caused me to change my lifestyle. Some things they told me were completely out of character and frankly, unsettling. There was no way that was me!
    So, in conclusion, Mr. Ham could be the nicest guy on the face of the earth, but any BAC over .30 is grounds for a visit to the ER, not a business transaction.

  11. Joe says:

    Of course it doesn’t sound like self defense the way the article is written.  What the article doesn’t mention is his arrest record that can easily be found on the Pima County Justice Court website.  Like the convictions that he has for assault and disorderly content.  If the autopsy reports and to be believed and he did have such a high concentration of alcohol in his system, I think it is very likely that he attacked the other man.  A 57 year old man versus a 25 year old that is in much better shape would have a tough time defending himself against the younger man unless he was able to get a weapon.
    I find it ridiculous that people that weren’t there at the incident would be commenting about the outcome of the investigation having only a small portion of the facts.

    • Andrea says:

      It is curious though, if this man was defending himself and being attacked by Aaron as he claimed, why didn’t he have any signs of it? There wasn’t a scratch on him. I know, I saw the man the next morning for myself. Aaron was stabbed more than 16 times and had been hit with a lot of force in more than one area of his body, but this Scott guy had nothing. I don’t see how he can say he was defending himself from Aaron. For a 57 year old man, he sure did a number on poor Aaron. I know its disturbing to talk about, but one of his stabs was from his neck across his face and they had to wire his jaw shut and sew him up at his funeral. Aaron was covered in so much make up because of his black eyes and his hands also had to be covered in make up because they were completely bruised. But you know, that Scott guy had not one scratch.

    • Melissa says:

      Joe, why do you find it so ridiculous? You don’t believe in justice? Being that you too were not there, or were you? You seem to making the same comments. You seem to be overly concerned about it? Why is that? Really?
      For self deference, shouldn’t Mr. Scott Williams have had some kind of injuries? Wasn’t Scott also drunk? From what I know Aaron was not the only one drunk. Even with Aaron drinking, did he deserve to be murdered? Tell me? How would you feel about it if this were your 25 year old daughter we were talking about. Should she be drinking and in the wrong place at the wrong time? Does she deserve to be brutally murdered? No, you would be doing the same as this family. All they want is answers and justice for their slain son. Eventually justice will come for Aaron maybe not today, but it will!
      FYI, if you aren’t who I think you are? Then you actually have a small portion of the facts. Yes?

  12. Gene says:

    Hi Joe, You might have a point.  Court records are easy to get in Pima County.  I’ve have 2 disturbing the peace along with goes disorderly conduct from years back.  Both of them still hang on my record even though they were dismissed.  The other part is what for?  Doesn’t say that.  My 2 were from my barking dogs that just wouldn’t shut up when I was at work.  If you have so much time on your hands try looking up the 3 residents that lived there also.  Just remember if they came from another state & havn’t gotten caught in Pima County you won’t find anything.  Doesn’t mean they never got in trouble before. 

  13. vp2 says:

    First let me say that regardless of who instigated this conflict, the outcome is a terrible tragedy and I have the deepest sympathies for the Ham family. Having said that, I can’t help but wonder if there is more that I’m not reading here that would lead the investigators not to pursue a case against Mr. Williams. Andrea states that Aaron would “never hurt anyone” and “was one to walk away”, yet in her response to Joe’s posting above, she does not dispute his statement that Aaron had convictions for assault. If this is true, it constitutes a serious misrepresentation and changes the whole tone of the article. (I haven’t taken the time to look these up myself, so if in fact he has no previous convictions, I apologize.) How this encounter escalated to the point it did we will never know: one party is dead and the other was probably too drunk to remember. Obviously, too many people had fond recollections of Aaron to write him off as a “slacker alky” as kevinp so sensitively put it,  but good people make bad choices that put them in dangerous situations, and usually the first of those choices involves drinking. It is a damn shame Aaron didn’t learn how to make the right first choice before it was too late.

  14. Joe says:

    Rynski, do you want this case to go to trial now? When Scott can be found not guilty because of reasonable doubt. As it sits right now there is still the opportunity for the two women to crack, or their conscience  to get to them and come forward with more information. I ask which is better? Found not guilty and never to be tried again, or wait to see what unfolds? Some cases are not solved for many years.  I understand how hard it must be to wait. It goes that way all too often. Its been what? Seven months? Thats not that long. Justice doesn’t happen over night. Only in a perfect world.
    Also; Should never blame the victim! It should never be the victims fault for where they live! Thats just ludicrous!  Just plain wrong! For those comments above? Is it okay for YOUR son or daughter to be murdered and you find thats its okay just because of where YOU live??? THIS COULD HAPPEN TO ANYONE!!!!!

    • Celeste says:

      Joe, your questions are very good ones…do we want  Scott Williams to be charged at this point and run the risk of him being found not guilty?  It is unimaginably hard to sit back and *hope* that someone will crack while this guys disappears into the distance, free to live his life.  Having to be patient would be easier if the powers that be had been more diligent in the investigation and handling of this case.  What I would  like to see happen is a more thorough and in-depth investigation take place with a specialist to analyize the finding in the autoposy report. I feel that report is strong physical evidence that overwhelmingly disproves the “self-defense” cry. As it stands, it’s been seven months of anguish and no resolve in sight.  Case closed.

    • Rynski says:

      hi joe,
      i would like to see a trial, yes – when? you bring up a good point…but so does celeste in noting that suspects seem to be long gone in the distance.
      you bring up a lot of interesting points and info. please feel free to contact me at if you’d like to share any other info you may not be comfortable writing here.
      i intend to keep following aaron’s story and e-mails, etc. are welcome. thanks!

  15. BobbiJo says:

    Condolences to the Ham family and to Andrea and her little girl…

    How many times do we hear of the innocent by-stander being the victim of such a tradegy…

    when you add alcohol to the equation, the outcome is even more dangerous….

    Rest in Peace Aaron…and prayers for the family….

  16. K says:

    I was with Aaron for many years, I saw him at his best and his worse. Saying someone wouldn’t hurt a fly is an understatement, because most people would still fight back if they were being attacked, but not Aaron. I can’t remember how many times he got hurt in silly situations in high school, and never once did he ever lay a hand on another human no matter the pain they cause. It wasn’t in his nature.

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