Stillwater News Press

August 24, 2012

11:25 a.m. BREAKING NEWS: Defense contends new evidence will discredit witness in Darrell Williams case

By Russell Hixson
russellhixson@stwnewspress.com

STILLWATER, Okla. — Defense attorneys for convicted Oklahoma State University men's basketball player  Darrell Williams cited newly discovered evidence as one of their reasons for filing a motion for a new trial.

Williams was convicted on two counts of rape by instrumentation and one count of sexual battery in July after two women testified the former athlete assaulted them at a house party in 2010. He is being held in Payne County Jail, with sentencing set Friday.

The motion, submitted by Williams' attorneys Cheryl Ramsey and William Baker, contends there is new evidence discovered by the defense that "could not have been discovered with reasonable diligence prior to the trial" and could have changed the outcome. The document states the evidence was unknown to the defense until after the trial.

The document states the evidence could have helped prove Williams' innnocence by calling into question a witness' testimony.

"There is a reasonable probability that the suppressed evidence would have produced a different verdict," the document states.

The motion states the new evidence was either unknown by the prosecution or not disclosed, either willfully or inadvertently.

The defense contests other aspects of the trial. The motion states the court was wrong to overrule the defense's motion to suppress the victims' identification as the women viewed team photos online. The defense also stated the use of the team photo by police for identification "was suggestive and illegally advised the witnesses that the alleged perpetrator was in the photograph."

The motion contends the prosecution used a peremptory challenge to remove a juror based on bias and prejudice and stated jurors cannot be removed solely on their race.

The defense's motion also took issue with the jury's verdict, which the defense stated was against the weight of evidence.

"The court should set aside the verdict of the jury and direct a verdict of not guilty ... ," the document reads.

The document stated the jury's verdict was based on "pure conjecture" without any factual or circumstantial evidence.

The motion also stated the court erred in rulings of law concerning the admissability and inadmissability of evidence during the trial.

The motion stated the court erred in overruling the defense's motion for a directed verdict and demurrer to evidence at the closing of the state's case.

In the motion the defense stated the court erred in not instructing the jury regarding the punishment of sex offender registration.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson came to Stillwater Thursday for a forum in support of Williams and called for supporters to be at the courthouse Friday.