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Florida man kills ex-wife and stepson in dispute over lights left on in the house, authorities say

"This is absolutely senseless. This was an argument over electricity," Volusia Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Brian Henderson said Monday.
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A recently divorced Florida man fatally shot his ex-wife and her adult son in a “rage” over electricity and leaving the lights on in the house, Florida authorities said.

Michael D. Williams, 47, was arrested Sunday evening and charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Marsha Ebanks-Williams, 48, and Robert Adams, 28, the Volusia Sheriff’s Office said.

Williams had called 911 just before 8 p.m. stating he shot the victims “in self-defense” at the DeLand home he still shared with Ebanks-Williams following their June divorce after 10 years of marriage, according to the sheriff’s office.

When deputies responded to the home, in the Daytona Park Estates neighborhood, they found Williams sitting in a vehicle parked in the driveway, where he surrendered, and Ebanks-Williams and Adams dead in the home, the sheriff's office said.

Inside, they also found Adams’ two unharmed young children, ages 5 and 6, who were visiting their dad from Tallahassee and may have seen the violence unfold, authorities said.

Chief Deputy Brian Henderson said detectives determined Williams launched the rampage over arguments he had with his ex regarding electricity in the home.

Williams told officials he shut off power to the house, locked the electrical panel and left on Sunday. But when he came back, he found Ebanks-Williams and Adams had cut the lock, restored power and placed a new lock on the panel.

"Michael was upset that he felt that they were leaving the lights on in the house and he went and put a lock on the box outside of the house, which Marsha and her son cut," Henderson said at a news conference Monday. "So he became upset and that started this argument, which ultimately resulted in these two people being shot and killed."

Williams had told investigators that he was attacked and punched in the face, but Henderson noted he appeared unscathed.

At the news conference, Henderson held up a mugshot of Williams, saying: "This does not look like a violent attack to me that warrants being shot multiple times."

Henderson condemned the attack, saying: "This is absolutely senseless. This was an argument over electricity, in which he became enraged and committed this kind of violence."

Tensions in the home rose to a boiling point over the past couple of months.

Williams and Ebanks-Williams remained living together following their divorce with plans to eventually sell the home and split the proceeds, Henderson said.

But living together wasn't a smooth process. The sheriff's department had responded to at least five calls at the home in recent months regarding disputes over the property and their living arrangements — but none amounted to threats of violence. 

Henderson called the relationship "toxic" and revealed that Ebanks-Williams had called the sheriff’s office just hours before the attack Sunday looking for legal advice.

Williams' criminal history includes arrests on charges of domestic violence, battery on a law enforcement officer and child abuse, Henderson said. He was not convicted of any of those crimes.

He was transported to Volusia County Branch Jail early Monday and remains held there with no bond.

His arraignment has been scheduled for Oct. 19. NBC News has reached out to an attorney listed for Williams for comment.