After that hearing, set for Sept. 28, Judge Fred W. Crow III will determine if statements the accused murderer made to Ohio investigators from a West Virginia jail are permissable. Earlier this month, Williams’ attorneys, Charles Knight and William Eachus, filed a motion to suppress statements obtained in violation of Williams’ constitutional rights, they say.
“Agents for the Bureau of Criminal Identification (and Investigation) who conducted the statement gathering in West Virginia violated defendant’s constitutional right to silence and violated his right to counsel, in that the agents failed to obtain a knowing, intelligent and voluntary waiver of defendant’s rights,” the motion to supress reads.
According to the motion’s memorandum in support, Williams “asserted his right to counsel, was under the influence of anti-psychotic drugs, lacked competency to waive his rights, and was subject to intense lengthy interrogation, deprived of contact with appropriate advisors and was, on numerous occasions, promised benefits to coerce a false confession.”
The interrogation, Williams’ attorneys assert, violated his rights under the Constitution. In his memorandum, Knight said factors including mentality and the nature of the interrogation must be considered in determining whether a confession was given voluntarily.
Williams’ competency to stand trial, and understand the charges against him, have been at issue since he was first charged with the February strangulation murder of Doris Jackson at her home in Tuppers Plains. Williams, earlier this summer, changed his plea to two counts of aggravated murder and eight other felonies relating tot he crime, from not guilty to not guilty by reason of insanity.
The results of a second psychiatric evaluation and those of an earlier evaluation, ordered on Williams’ behalf and at his request, have not been made public.
The hearing on the supression motion was set for Monday, but Crow continued it for a week.