Thursday, June 17, 2021

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Accused bank robber accepts legal help

John Williams III

Colusa County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Thompson postponed the preliminary hearing last week for accused bank robber John Williams III, to allow him more time to build a legal defense.

Williams III, 42, of Woodland, who is representing himself in his criminal proceedings, again refused the appointment of a public defender, but he did accept the judge’s offer for a legal advisor.

Williams III is charged with the armed robbery of the Arbuckle Umpqua Bank on July 5, 2019. His alleged partner, Michael G. Jones Jr., pleaded guilty to the crime, in August, and was sentenced to nine years in state prison.

Colusa County Public Defender, Brandon Williams (no relation), accepted the appointment to provide the defendant legal advice, although the attorney won’t be allowed to sit with the defendant in court proceedings, cross-examine witnesses, make motions, or object to the testimony.

Williams III told Judge Thompson at his March 10 hearing that he would consider hiring an attorney later in the proceedings if he felt the need. Otherwise, he would continue to be his own counsel, despite warnings by the court that it is never a good idea to defend oneself.

Williams III did accept the court’s offer for the names of reputable private investigators who may be available to assist him in preparing a defense.

Thompson denied the defendant’s motion (with prejudice) to exclude the weapon as evidence, which will allow Williams III to refile the motion at his discretion.

Williams III is scheduled to appear in Colusa County Superior Court on April 5, to reset the date for his preliminary hearing.

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