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'It's not funny' | Judge scolds court after laughter erupts in awkward exchange with Jacksonville man accused in woman's death

Nathaniel Slade, the man accused of killing Ladonna Williams appeared in Duval County court Friday. His exchanged prompted some to laugh. The judge wasn't amused.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The man arrested Thursday charged in the death of a Jacksonville woman had his first appearance before a Duval County judge Friday morning. Nathaniel Slade, 41, was ordered to remain behind bars in the death of Ladonna Williams whose partially covered body was found April 20 in the backyard of a vacant home in the 2900 block of W. 9th Street in Allendale.

Judge Kimberly Sadler told Slade he should not contact any witnesses from jail prompting Slade to ask for clarity.

"When you say no witness, whatchu' mean? My family or somethin'?" Slade said.

Sadler responded, "Just nobody that's an alleged witness in the case."

An attorney then chimed in making it extra clear what the judge meant. "Mr. Slade, just stay off the phone."

That response caused many in the court to laugh.

Judge Sadler wasn't amused. "It's not funny. He's charged with a serious offense," she said.

Slade's next court appearance is June 2.

RELATED: Loved ones identify body found in Northwest Jacksonville backyard as mother LaDonna Williams

Credit: Ladonna Williams family
Loved ones identify body found in Northwest Jacksonville backyard as mother LaDonna Williams
Credit: Jacksonville Sheriff's Office
On Wednesday, April 20, 2022 JSO responded to the 2000 block of West 9th Street in reference to a located deceased individual. Investigative efforts identified the suspect as Nathaniel Slade and charged him with murder.