Family of Murdered MPD Officer Talks About New Trial
(Memphis) “It’s sort of like going to an old wound and re-opening it,” says Vince Higgins.
As a District Attorney Office spokesperson and former police officer, Higgins has been through a lot of court trials.
But one case that has played out over the last 15 years has been personal.
The 1997 murder of Memphis Police Officer Don Williams, Higgins’ own cousin, “When you are personally involved. When it’s your cousin that we are talking about that died. It’s a tough thing to separate professional and emotional.”
But Higgins now speaks for the Williams family, a family facing a third trial.
There was a hung jury in the retrial of Timothy McKinney, the man charged with killing Officer Williams.
“You have to re-live those details of that night back in 1997. Re-live those 32 days the family had to go through when Don was in the hospital paralyzed unable to speak,” says Higgins.
Higgins and his cousin were close, they were partners for a time on the Memphis Police Force.
The night Williams was killed outside a Comedy Club after an altercation, Higgins had spoken to him just hours earlier, “I called him again later on that night, just to see if he needed me to come out. He said no I got it. Me and Frank got it. I left it alone only to get a phone call three hours later about him having been shot.”
He says going through two trials was tough.
Now, August 13, 2012 will be trial three.
Timothy McKinney’s lawyers are ready.
“We are gonna look at everything we did, what’s compelling to jurors and this case has a lot of reasonable doubt,” says Marty McAfee, one of McKinney’s attorneys.
But Don Williams’ family is determined to see it through.
“Everybody in the family, all of Don’s close friends. We are hopeful that this will be the last time. But we will see it through. Don would have asked no less of us,” said Higgins.