MEMPHIS, Tenn. — West Memphis Court is the latest place Marion Police Lt. Freddy Williams showed up after being charged with taking drugs from a narcotics evidence room.
His case was to be heard Friday morning at 9:30 but court officials said Williams was allowed to come in at 8:30 for a brief bond hearing.
By the time regular court started, Williams was already gone.
We went to his Marion home. If he was there, a female who answered made it clear he wasn’t talking.
“I am sorry. No comment,” the woman at the door told us.
Back at court, no one could explain why Williams was allowed to get in an out before court officially started.
It’s not the first time Williams has eluded the scrutiny of television cameras.
Tuesday morning, when he first turned himself in at the Crittenden County Jail and was booked, he also managed to slip in and out of the building — some say through a back door — as WREG crews and other news media waited out front.
Williams, the 19-year-police veteran, faces serious charges after other police officers say they have surveillance video of him going into an evidence room 22 times without proper authorization and stuffing marijuana and pills into his pocket before leaving.
“The state alleges that he removed controlled substances from the evidence locker,” Prosecutor Scott Ellington told WREG on Tuesday.
Williams reportedly told the police chief and others he smoked the marijuana.
Kenneth Fisher, who has lived across the street from Williams for years, says he doesn’t seem the type.
“He just didn’t carry himself as that kind of person. But you never know about people,” Fisher said.
The apparent veil around Williams’ case isn’t helping what some residents already call a police department that constantly sweeps things under the rug. But others remain hopeful.
“He is a police officer. I just hope the best for him and his family. Hope they get through it,” Fisher said.
The question that remains unanswered is how Williams’ arrest will affect any cases in which he is involved. WREG has been talking to attorneys about that.
One attorney says it depends on whether the drugs taken were evidence in pending cases that haven’t yet been tried.
Williams remains out of jail on $10,000 bond. He will be back in court March 26 in Marion Circuit Court.