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ClayK



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PostPosted: 07/16/19 11:13 am    ::: Legal question for Glenn or whoever can answer Reply Reply with quote

In a case of domestic abuse, how long can the process conceivably last until a final verdict is rendered?

In other words, if someone has access to legal resources, with delays, filings and appeals, how long could a clever legal team prevent a final determination from being made? My sense, though I don't know much about such things, is that it could be literally years (again, with access to legal resources) before a verdict is announced, but I could be wrong.



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GlennMacGrady



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PostPosted: 07/16/19 6:58 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

It depends on the jurisdiction, the congestion on the court's calendar, the judge, the type of offense, the reasons given for requested delays (continuances), and the the amount of interest a busy prosecutor has in pushing the case along. Regarding the two legal cases folks here have been discussing, Williams and Sims, I think both proceedings could easily be delayed for another three months -- i.e., until after the WNBA season ends.

Sims' case is a run-of-the-mill drunk driving case, and I'd guess she'll try to secure a plea deal for a lower level drunk driving offense. I'm not a criminal lawyer, but I have handled two drunk driving cases for relatives. Gimmicky delays aren't even necessary; good faith tactics can secure delays.

For example, in one case I asked the prosecutor to agree to a delay so that the first offender could be evaluated by a psychiatrist and to voluntarily complete a drunk driving program, so the judge could later see that the defendant had already tried to rehabilitate himself, and hence would not be a further danger to the community, and hence should get the misdemeanor reduced to a traffic offense. This wasn't a gimmick. The prosecutor agreed to the proactive show of good faith and lengthy continuance, and my client escaped the misdemeanor.

Williams' case is for much more serious offenses, two felonies, and in the natural course would be delayed much longer than a drunk driving case, particularly if there's actually a trial, which I doubt. Maybe she's ready to plead to a deal now and has so informed the WNBA; and if so, that could be why the WNBA has finally decided to discipline her.
pilight



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PostPosted: 07/16/19 7:24 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
Maybe she's ready to plead to a deal now and has so informed the WNBA; and if so, that could be why the WNBA has finally decided to discipline her.


That would make sense. The W would look stupid if she comes back to play a couple of games and then goes to trial.



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GlennMacGrady



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PostPosted: 07/16/19 7:32 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:
Maybe she's ready to plead to a deal now and has so informed the WNBA; and if so, that could be why the WNBA has finally decided to discipline her.


That would make sense. The W would look stupid if she comes back to play a couple of games and then goes to trial.


To further speculate along these lines, Williams may have secured a reasonable Florida plea deal with lowered offenses and legal punishments by specifically agreeing to submit to significant WNBA financial punishment. This would be akin to felons getting shorter jail sentences if they agree to forfeit their homes or other property.
justintyme



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PostPosted: 07/16/19 7:50 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:
Maybe she's ready to plead to a deal now and has so informed the WNBA; and if so, that could be why the WNBA has finally decided to discipline her.


That would make sense. The W would look stupid if she comes back to play a couple of games and then goes to trial.

I doubt there is any concern of that one way or another. The next pretrial hearing isn't until August 16th. At that time they could easily push it again until September. The defense is likely committed to making sure any trial, if one happens, occurs during the offseason to maximize her playing time. So when she comes back, any potential trial would be a ways off.

She won't be able to play overseas while this is going on since she is out on bail, so they likely want her to play out this season.

But it is possible she takes a plea. It honestly surprises me that she hasn't yet, unless the prosecution is confident in their case and has only offered pleas with significant jail time (like perhaps even a few years, which wouldn't be surprising since this is a class 1 felony with a potential life sentence), and she and her lawyer are thinking they might want to fight it, or at least push for a better deal.



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GlennMacGrady



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PostPosted: 07/16/19 8:21 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

justintyme wrote:
pilight wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:
Maybe she's ready to plead to a deal now and has so informed the WNBA; and if so, that could be why the WNBA has finally decided to discipline her.


That would make sense. The W would look stupid if she comes back to play a couple of games and then goes to trial.

I doubt there is any concern of that one way or another. The next pretrial hearing isn't until August 16th. At that time they could easily push it again until September. The defense is likely committed to making sure any trial, if one happens, occurs during the offseason to maximize her playing time. So when she comes back, any potential trial would be a ways off.

She won't be able to play overseas while this is going on since she is out on bail, so they likely want her to play out this season.

But it is possible she takes a plea. It honestly surprises me that she hasn't yet, unless the prosecution is confident in their case and has only offered pleas with significant jail time (like perhaps even a few years, which wouldn't be surprising since this is a class 1 felony with a potential life sentence), and she and her lawyer are thinking they might want to fight it, or at least push for a better deal.


If that's true about an inability to play overseas until the case is finalized, that's a big incentive for Williams to plead, take the WNBA punishment and put the whole thing behind her. She has no history of this kind of behavior that I've seen published.

I could be wrong, but regardless of the paper charges, I don't see this first offender case as carrying serious, or maybe even any, jail time. And both of the charges are far from a slam dunk for the DA. The burglary felony is very technical -- meaning, she didn't break and enter to steal someone's jewels; she barged through a door that had been opened. The fight itself may have been nothing more than what you see in sixth grade schoolyards every day. And, finally, Williams may have a credible self-defense, no-retreat defense against the aggravated assault weapon charge if there is evidence that the man (Wilson?) was assaulting, beating or battering her outside the house, especially since it doesn't seem she "brandished" the weapon. I doubt anyone wants to try the case.
Randy



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PostPosted: 07/16/19 8:49 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I'm surprised no one has brought up Holdsclaw. She was out of the WNBA at the time but her actions were much more dangerous than Williams. Her punishment was simply probation and community service and a fine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamique_Holdsclaw


Quote:
Atlanta police issued an arrest warrant for Holdsclaw on November 15, 2012 after Holdsclaw allegedly attacked her ex-girlfriend's car with a baseball bat and shot at the car. The owner of the car, fellow WNBA player Jennifer Lacy, was uninjured.[12] It was announced on February 27, 2013, that Holdsclaw was being indicted for the November shooting in Atlanta. It is a six-count indictment charging her with aggravated assault, criminal damage and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Holdsclaw was released from jail after posting a $100,000 bond and a court date was not set.[13]

Holdsclaw pleaded guilty June 14, 2013 to aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and other charges. She was sentenced to three years' probation and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service and pay a $3,000 fine under the plea agreement. Holdsclaw's attorney Ed Garland said his client "felt that to honestly accept what her actions were was best for everyone concerned".[14]


As for DUI - Hawks coach Budenholzer got his trial delayed almost 3 years before going to trial (and being acquitted.)


justintyme



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PostPosted: 07/16/19 9:09 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Here is how Michael McCann describes what the state is alleging Williams did:

According to the officer’s account, there were three victims: Davis, Antonio Wilson and Wilson’s 10-year-old son. Davis and Wilson claim they were in the residence when Williams arrived at about 5 p.m. After she entered the property, Williams allegedly bashed a car belonging to Davis with a skateboard. She then “attempted to make entry via hitting the outside door with the skateboard.”

While allegedly trying to force herself inside, Williams was heard yelling at Davis to “come outside and face her.” Davis, who says she dated Williams on-and-off for five years and had broken up with Williams only a month earlier, then opened the door. Williams quickly “snatched” the slightly open door wide open. She is then accused of forcing her way inside with the goal of attacking Davis.

Once inside the residence, Williams, according to the police report, struck Davis several times in the head with a closed fist. She then pulled out her hair.

Wilson, meanwhile, tried to break up the altercation, as did his 10-year-old son. After several minutes of trying to separate Williams from Davis, those efforts prevailed. By that point, though, Davis had suffered injuries to her head and scalp.

Williams then left the residence and went to her car, a Chevrolet Camaro. From the car Williams pulled out an unspecified “black firearm” and placed it on the trunk so that it was pointed at Wilson. She then put her hand on the gun and told him that “you’ll get all 18”, an ominous reference to the number of bullets in the gun’s magazine. Williams then drove off.

Here is how he describes the charges against her:

These are serious felony charges.

Burglary with assault or battery is considered a first-degree felony under Florida law and carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. It refers to entering another person’s residence with the intent to commit a crime and then committing assault or battery. Here, Williams is accused of unlawfully entering a residence that was not her own—according to the police, the residence is a “property of Wilson and/or Davis”—with the intent to commit an offense. After entering the property, Williams is believed to have brutally attacked Davis.

The second charge, aggravated assault with a firearm, is not as grave but it is still a felony. It generally refers to the fear caused when brandishing a weapon and pointing it at someone. Here, Williams is accused of threatening violence by pulling out a gun and threatening to fire all 18 bullets (which she implied were in the gun’s magazine) at Wilson and others on the property. Prosecutors contend that Williams “created a well-founded fear” in Wilson and his son that “such violence was imminent.” Aggravated assault with a firearm is a third-degree felony under Florida law and carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
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I'm not entirely convinced based upon what the state has alleged to have occurred that they consider this something to only slap her wrist over. Having 3 eye witnesses, along with physical injuries to Davis, I doubt they are too worried about having to go to trial if it comes to that.



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