Marion officer denies stealing drugs from evidence locker room in court hearing

MARION, Ark. — A Marion, Arkansas police officer accused of stealing drugs appeared before a judge for just a few minutes on Tuesday.

It's clear he's well-versed in the legal system and staff in Marion as he shook hands with multiple attorneys and bailiffs in the courtroom.

Lieutenant Freddy Williams was arrested in February. He is accused of taking controlled substances from an evidence locker. According to a state report a data log showed Williams had entered a narcotics evidence room 22 times. It says there is video of him entering the area on his off time, including Christmas morning when everyone else was off. His attorney entered a not guilty plea Tuesday and cited to WREG his client's lengthy law enforcement career.

When asked if he had anything to say about the charges against him Williams said, "No m'am. My attorney is behind me right now. Talk to him."

So we asked his attorney Robert Newcomb about the drugs Williams is accused of stealing from the locker.

"I understand that it's marijuana, which is technically not a narcotic," Newcomb said. "I think they said there's pills missing, but we categorically deny taking any pills."

Surveillance was initially set up in an evidence room after officers became suspicious of someone tampering with the office. A state report says Williams confessed to the police chief and others and apologized for smoking the marijuana that he stole.

When asked if Williams was concerned prosecutors say they have video of Williams in the evidence room Newcomb said, "There`s always two sides to a story."

Newcomb highlighted Williams' several decades long career with the department and said he almost died in the line of duty after being shot in the head. "You have a very decorated 20-year veteran, so it's a very unusual circumstance," he said.

Williams is currently relieved from the Marion Police Department without pay pending the investigation. He is expected to be back in court this summer.

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