While Wednesday was quite a stormy day; Thursday, December 18th dawned bright and sunny but cold. Court Day!
Even though I had gone in to town early to visit my Mother (for just a few minutes!) before court, I found myself racing across the School Street parking lot hot on the heels of an equally late lawyer. Both of us tried to scoot through the closing door as court was called to session. Pausing to look for a seat in the nearly full room, I found only two left available. The seat on the right required climbing over several people, so I chose the only other open seat at the rear of the room.
As I walked down the aisle I was pleased to see one of our Selectmen, a former Selectman, and another resident already seated. Reaching the back bench, I asked Darrell Williams to please move so I could sit down. He quickly jumped up and I gratefully slid into the seat still a bit winded.(These old broken knees haven't had to run in a long time and they were protesting their recent ill treatment.)
The judge began calling up the cases and Williams was among the first. Appearing quite nervous as he approached the bench, Williams wisely let his lawyer speak for him. The lawyer said he was new on the case and did not know if a plea had been entered at Williams's arraignment. The judge looked through his paperwork and stated that a "not guilty plea had been entered in July." Asking for a continuance, Williams' lawyer said they were working on a "reasonable" resolution with the District Attorney's office and hoped for a favorable resolution.
The judge asked if the resolution included restitution, Williams' lawyer quickly replied, "Yes, your honor." The continuance allows Williams time to get as much of the restitution money together as he can. After mentioning a future court date in February and receiving a negative reply from both Williams and his lawyer that it would not be enough time, a date of March 11th, 2009 was set.
After the morning session was recessed, I spoke with Assistant District Attorney Pat Gordon about the case. Gordon assured me that no plea agreement has been offered and would not even be considered until after they see the amount of restitution raised by Williams. Gordon commented the amount is so substantial most people would have trouble raising it in a year, let alone about 3 months. This begged the question, "How much is it?" The reply, "Over $40,000."