Williams trial continues
The second day of the Robert Williams trial took place on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 in the 32nd Judicial District Court at the Nolan County Courthouse. The entire day was made up of further testimony from the lead investigator at the time of the incident, Tim Blount, formerly with the Nolan County Sheriff's Office. Several videos and a number of photographs were submitted to evidence and shown to the five-woman, seven-man jury.Williams is on trial from a charge of engaging in organized criminal activity, following the drug bust of the crack cocaine distribution house on 1110 Runnels by area law enforcement in October 2010.Blount was asked by District Attorney Ann Reed about a photo that was submitted into evidence, which was a still photo from the video. Shinece Black and Cory Alldrege were recognized by their clothing.The video shown to the jury on Tuesday morning was recalled, and Blount noted that Williams' voice is heard when he asked the confidential informant about what his plans were with the drugs he purchased. He also stated that Williams was present during the footage because someone faintly called for him by his nickname.The package which held the crack cocaine that was purchased and was submitted to be analyzed by the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab in Abilene was entered into evidence as well.The second controlled purchase made by local authorities took place on August 23, 2010. The confidential informant--the same person from the first buy--was searched and then given $200 to purchase the drugs and was placed with a recorder once again on his person. An assisting APD (Abilene Police Department) office drove the informant to the house, where he came into contact with four people inside the residence. Following the purchase, the informant was searched to ensure that only purchases were made to be used by the authorities.At this time the second purchase was shown to the jury. Around the six minute mark of the 15 minute video, the state acknowledged that Jerome Williams spoke with the informant along with Shamar Williams. Jerome was shown counting out the nine pieces of drugs to sell to the informant, and Blount noted that the video also showed Robert Williams present. A photo--which was also submitted as evidence--showed the drugs purchased from the second buy, as well as the envelope that was sent to the Texas DPS Crime Lab. The investigation continued, Blount said, as a final controlled purchase took place on September 20, 2010, using the same informant and agent from the first two buys. The thirteen-minute video from the third purchase was then shown.The APD agent is seen and was talking about trying to go inside the house with the informant in order to verify the activity inside, but did not occur. When inside, it was believed that Shamar Williams was seen and while not a resident of the house, Jerry Dewitt Washington, Jr. sold to the informant 10 cocaine rocks for $200.Following the buy, the informant listed the people he saw to the agent. In addition, the photo of the drugs from the purchase and the envelope used to send the drugs for analysis was submitted into evidence for the jury.On August 31, 2010, electronic surveillance which ran off an Internet signal was set up to view the house activity all the way through October 6. Blount testified that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) had the footage of the server but that the first several days of video were lost. Hard drives were sent to the agency in order to download all the video in order for Blount to view it. The footage--over 20 days of 24-hour surveillance--was condensed twice, with the second edit being done by Blount. All night footage was eliminated from the final edit, and the film had no audio attached to the footage.Starting shortly after 10:15 a.m., the beginning of the video summary of surveillance--which totaled nearly three and a half hours in its entirety--was shown to the jury. After a lunch recess, the video resumed and finally concluded around 3:15 p.m.The video showed various times of day starting on September 10, 2010 and spanning until October 5, 2010. Almost 130 clips of the morning and evening--a majority of them not exceeding two minutes--showed quick come-and-go traffic at the residence. On 11 occasions, Blount observed that Williams was shown on the footage. People were shown coming and going to the house on car and even on bicycle and walking. Interaction occurred inside the house, on the porch and even on the side of the house. A number of cars were shown throughout with several of them reappearing continuously on the film. With some of the footage shown, Blount stated that it was common for drug deliveries to occur in cars due to the fact that it is easy to conceal what is going on.The state acknowledged that not all the surveillance was shown, but the significance of the video summary was that it showed activity of people coming and going in short periods of time and pointed out some hand to hand transactions.Blount testified that on October 5, he and another investigator came into contact with Eddie Presley when they saw his vehicle and followed him home. They spoke briefly with Presley at his house, where they took his 2 crack cocaine rocks and then agreed to talk further at the District Attorney's Office.The information gathered helped Blount to draw a search warrant for crack cocaine inside the house, which was granted that night and executed on the morning on October 6, 2010. A briefing took place around 9 a.m. with Abilene Police Department, Nolan County Sheriff's Office, the 32nd Judicial District Attorney's office and Texas DPS troopers.The group went to the residence around 11 a.m., in order to ensure that Williams was at the house. Upon their arrival, they informed everyone of and executed the search warrant. Groups were assigned to outside and inside duty.A number of evidence was submitted during the afternoon, including a diagram of the house which cited where the teams were to be stationed. After entering, the property was secured and everyone was cleared from the house. On the porch of the house was Williams and six other people; two people were reported as being inside.During the takeover of the house, Blount said that he was searching the living and bathroom areas and took evidence along with taking photos of the scene. Contraband was found inside the house, with a number of items being submitted into evidence for the court.A razor was found in the living area, a photo of a sock--in which three tubes were placed inside which held some crack cocaine and marijuana--that was on a recliner on the porch of the residence, and a photo of two crack cocaine rocks packed for resale was shown to the jury.Also found in the residence and shown to the jury, namely the bedroom of Williams, was a document from an electric bill under the name of Clif Worsham, who was living at the house. Other paperwork that was found, said Blount, was an envelope addressed to Johnny Williams and a picture of Shinece Black. He said that Black appeared to be working with marijuana in the photo. Additionally, a small amount of marijuana was found in the living room. A cigar wrapper with a green leafy substance was found in Worsham's bedroom, along with two small bags of marijuana on the recliner on the porch. These four items, along with a photo of the three tubes pulled out from the black sock, were submitted into evidence for the jury. Other evidence photos were a picture of Williams's wallet, a photo of the wallet pulled open which showed money and other paperwork, and a picture of the money separated into denominations and his Social Security card. The wallet was found on Williams' person and had $1939.Blount also testified that a green minivan on the scene was searched, and another black sock with crack cocaine was found below the radio in a console.This other black sock was photographed in its original found location, then photographed upon its removal from the vehicle, and then a picture was taken of the contents inside the sock. All three photos were brought as evidence for the state.Inside the house, Blount said that several cell phones and a variety of clothing, shoes, hats, and jewelry were found. A photo of the jewelry found in Williams' room was taken and submitted into evidence, along with a photo of hats that were found in Williams' bedroom as well. A photo of the exterior of the house was also brought as evidence, as well as the package that contained crack cocaine found on October 6, 2010 to be tested at the crime lab.Blount said that in his investigation, the employment status of those living were considered. He said that he learned that Shinece Black and Jamesha Smith were working at Taco Bell, and Johnny Williams was working at the MHMR rest area. However, Blount said that he was unaware if the defendant was employed.The money in the wallet was also brought up by the state, and Blount testified that, in his experience with these types of cases, it was common for people to have the amount of money like Williams did in his wallet.After the people at the house were arrested, Blount noted that they were all taken to the jail. Sometimes questions are asked while they are being booked and are typically asked by the booking officer.Blount was the arresting officer in this situation, and in some instances, the arresting office is present while booking occurs. Williams' booking sheet from the Nolan County Sheriff's Office was submitted as evidence.Reed then passed the witness to the defense, in which a recess was requested for the day due to the expectation of a long cross-examination. Presiding Judge Glen Harrison then called the court to recess around 4:25 p.m. on Wednesday.Testimonies continued throughout the day on Thursday, March 29, 2012.