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Omari Williams Cut Off Judge As Co-Defendant Tyreek James Gets 86 Months Concurrent

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 25 –  Omari Williams was arrested and presented on October 23, 2020 and has been detained since, amid testing. On July 28, 2021 co-defendant Tyreek James pleaded guilty, and now seeks to cap his sentence at five years, see below. But Omari Williams remains in the ether.

 On January 13, 2021 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 - refusing to be produced or attend these proceedings. On PACER, still under the Magistrates Court docket, there were two Orders to Continue in the Interest of Justice, dated November 23 and December 23.  

Where is Mr. Williams?

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

On August 12, 2021, Ms. Omari Williams appeared from the MDC in Brooklyn, shouting that Montgomery was being fired. But the new CJA could not be found. Then yes: Jacqueline Cistaro. Judge Koeltl came up and began to slowly question. Williams said, You called me Mister, I'm Ms.

I'm calling you Ms., Judge Koeltl said, and did. But Williams hung up, and despite a request the MDC would not force a return to the phone.

Eventually Williams did come back on, and the new CJA lawyer was appointed. Williams shouted about a thumb drive of legal research being stolen from him in custody. A September 28 date at noon was selected. Inner City Press will stay on this case.

 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.

 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.

 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."

On April 9 on Omari Williams, this: "The conference scheduled for April 21, 2021 is adjourned until May 26, 2021 at 9:00 am. Because a continuance is in the interest of justice and is needed to assure the effective assistance of counsel, the Court prospectively excludes the time from today, April 9, 2021, until May 26, 2021, from Speedy Trial Act calculations. The Court finds that the ends of justice served by granting the continuance outweigh the best interests of the defendants and the public in a speedy trial. This Order is entered pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A). In addition, with respect to Mr. Williams, the Court is awaiting a report as to the mental competency of Mr. Williams to proceed."

On July 29, Tyreek James has pleaded guilty: before Judge John G. Koeltl:Change of Plea Hearing as to Tyreek James held on 7/28/2021. Deft James pres w/atty Tamara Giwa. AUSA Kevin Mead. Reporter Rebecca Foreman. Deft James changes plea of not guilty and enters plea of guilty to Count Two of information. Sentence date 11/5/2021 at 10:00am. PSI ordered. Deft contd detained."

On March 11 a sentencing memo for Tyreek James was filed, with some medical information redacted. But for a downward variance precedents were cite: US v. Zonie Square, 15-cr-80 (Wood), in which a felon in possession got time served (ten months) with reporting every six months. And US v. Rowe, 21-cr-19 (Cote), five years probation and quarterly reports for cyberstalking, as summarized by Tyreek James' Federal Defender.

On March 16 the US Attorney's Office submitted its sentencing memo asking for 92 to 114 months, stating that "on August 8, 2019 the defendant and Williams robbed a barbershop in Albany... then on August 16" they robbed a parking garage on West 59th Street in Manhattan, then another.

On March 25, Tyreek James was sentenced to 86 months, concurrent: "Sentencing held on 3/25/2022 for Tyreek James (1) Count 2. Deft James present...  Deft sentenced to 86 months on Count 2; concurrent with sentences in Albany, Schenectady Counties; 3 years supervised release; $399 forfeiture; $774 restitution. (jbo)."

And Omari Williams? Next conference is April 26, 2022.

 We will continue to report on this.

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


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