07/01/10 — Jury still hearing testimony in trial

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Jury still hearing testimony in trial

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on July 1, 2010 1:46 PM

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Brandon Williams

The jury was excused for much of Wednesday afternoon in the murder trial of Brandon Lee Williams, as Wayne County Superior Court Judge Arnold O. Jones heard the prosecutor argue for the inclusion of a videotaped confession by the defendant and his previous jail records.

Capt. F.S. Greenfield testified Williams had a tumultuous stay in the Wayne County Jail since being incarcerated in the summer of 2008.

Williams was segregated from the general population multiple times between admission and his trial, which began this week.

The 25-year-old is accused in the shooting death of Silvia Benitez Morales, a mother of two and Williams' neighbor.

Defense attorney Geoffrey Hulse, who is representing Williams, read a number of written requests by Williams to jail authorities asking to be moved from isolation back into the general population.

Williams made repeated requests not to be placed in cells with Hispanics, and the Sheriff's Office at first complied. But Sheriff Carey Winders later rescinded the request to keep the defendant segregated, Greenfield testified.

The jail captain said Williams was also accused of throwing urine on officers and of fighting with other inmates.

The trial was scheduled to continue at 9 a.m. today.

Greenfield testified that he had to assign another jail officer to Williams after an incident where Williams allegedly kneed him in the groin.

The captain said he slapped Williams in the face with an open hand when he was kneed, then Williams allegedly kneed his groin again. Greenfield said he slapped the defendant again when he was kneed the second time.

After the incident, one of Williams' family members wrote a letter to the sheriff complaining about the incident.

"The sheriff left it up to me. I decided to keep from anymore problems, I would let someone else handle (Williams). But I ... advised him of this -- his (grandmother) was not going to run the Wayne County Jail."

Assistant District Attorney Matt Delbridge asked Greenfield if Williams' stay in jail could be characterized by his frequent requests for special treatment.

"Mr. Williams can be very persistent in his requests to get things done to his satisfaction, would that be fair to say?" Delbridge asked.

Responded Greenfield, "That would be fair."