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Omari Williams Wanted to Go Pro Se So Mental Test Now to MCC For Other It Meant Oklahoma

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Feb 20 –  Omari Williams was arrested and presented on October 23 and has been detained since. But he has yet to be arraigned. 

 On January 13, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge John G. Koeltl held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it. 

 Judge Koeltl said, with initial co-defendant Tyreek James on the line, "Is Mr. Williams here?"  

 No, was the answer. Mr Williams, it was said, was refusing to be produced or attend these proceedings. On PACER, still under the Magistrates Court docket, there are two Orders to Continue in the Interest of Justice, dated November 23 and December 23.  

Where is Mr. Williams?

Apparently, he is in the Essex County jail and wants out. His CJA lawyer Kenneth Montgomery offered some consent on Williams' behalf. 

 The complaint, back from May, was about a Porsche stolen from the 13th Street garage and driven across the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey.

 Where Williams now is, or is said to be, in the Essex County jail.  Judge Koeltl scheduled another proceeding for January 27.

 On January 14, in advance of that, the US Attorney's Office proposed to Judge Koeltl an order authorizing the US Marshals and Essex Corrections "to use reasonable force necessary to remove the defendant, Omari Williams, from his cell in the Essex County Correctional Facility to be arraigned."

On January 22, force was authorized. But it didn't work. AUSA Sam Rothschild on January 27 wrote to Judge Koeltl that "On January 27 the defendant appeared remotely for his arraignment but before he could be arraigned, he became irate, hung up the phone and left the room." So a new order proposed and signed, included the use of restraints.

  The US has proposed another order, for a psychological evaluation: "the defendant expressed a desire to represent himself and also made statements to the effect that he is not psychologically ready to deal with this matter."

  On February 1, this: "ORDER as to Omari Williams: During a January 29, 2021 conference in this matter, the defendant expressed a desire to represent himself and also made statements to the effect that he is not psychologically ready to deal with this matter... IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, if such an evaluation cannot be performed at the facility where the defendant is housed, the defendant forthwith be designated to a suitable facility."

 On February 9 the US filed, under seal, a "Mental Health Treatment Summary" it received from Essex County Correctional Facility.

 Now on February 19, this: "Re: United States v. Omari Williams, 20 Cr. 701 (JGK) Dear Judge Koeltl: As further follow up to the Government’s letters dated February 8, 2021 (Dkt. 32) and February 9, 2021 (Dkt. 34), the Government respectfully writes to inform the Court that, on February 19, 2021, the Government was informed that as a next step toward having the defendant undergo the psychological evaluation ordered by the Court (Dkt. 27), the defendant was transferred from the Essex County Correctional Facility to the Metropolitan Correctional Center on February 17, 2021. The Government will continue to update the Court as the Government receives further information."

  In the case of another SDNY defendant, a mental evaluation has caused him to be flow to Cimarron Correctional Facility in Oklahoma and from there, who knows. Inner City Press received this: "HORGE, ERNEST no longer has access to the Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System; therefore, he/she may not send or receive messages."

And Omari Williams? We will continue to report on this.

This case is US v. Williams, 20-mj-4932 (Koeltl)


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