Another charge filed, $1 million bond set for man who walked away from trial
A felony failure to appear charge has been filed and a $1 million bond set for a Little Rock who went on a lunch break and never came back while a jury deliberated the outcome of his forgery trial.
The charge was filed in Pike County Circuit Court Jan. 16 against Matthew O. Williams, Jr., 44, who is also known as “Turkey” Williams and Ounsel Jones.
Williams’ companion, Kari Lynn Williams, 31, of Fordyce has also been charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution because she allegedly provided Matthew Williams with transportation after they walked away from his trial. Her bond has been set at $100,000.
Matthew Williams was on trial Dec. 6 to face first-degree forgery charges from 2008 when he allegedly cashed three counterfeit checks at local convenience stores. The fake checks totaled $604.24 and were written on the city of Nashville’s general fund.
At the opening of trial, Williams, acting against the advice of Judge Tom Cooper, fired his public defender, LaJeana Jones, and proceeded to act as his own attorney. Williams reminded the jury in his opening statement that he was a convicted felon but stated he was innocent of the forgery charges. According to court officials, Williams has 10 previous felony convictions that range from robbing a post office to other forgeries to theft of property.
When the jury was handed the case for deliberation, Williams and a female companion left the courtroom and walked to the nearby Sonic Drive-In. A Pike County Sheriff’s Department deputy quickly returned Williams to the courtroom, but he successfully argued that since he was not in custody and out on bond that he should be allowed to leave for lunch. Williams was advised to return to the courtroom within 30 minutes and was also required to give his phone number to a deputy so he could be summoned back to the court if the jury returned with their verdict within the 30 minutes.
It did not take the jury 30 minutes to return with a verdict and when Williams was contacted by phone he said he had gone to the store and would be right there. When he failed to return, Williams was again called but this time he reportedly hung up on the deputy.
Perhaps Williams saw the writing on the wall when he was conducting his trial, as the jury returned with a guilty verdict and a 40-year prison sentence for being a habitual offender.
A bench warrant was issued for Williams on the original forgery charges that day as was a $75,000 bond revocation warrant. Public defender Jones was also reassigned the case for the sentencing phase. Williams will be officially sentenced upon apprehension.
Persons with any information concerning the whereabouts of Matthew and Kari Lynn Williams are asked to call the PCSD at (870) 285-3315.
Blevins man sentenced
Ricky D. Stone, Jr., 36, of Blevins pleaded guilty Friday in Pike County Circuit Court to the charge of theft of property involving the theft of a four-wheeler.
Stone was sentenced to five years of probation, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $1,575 restitution with Daniel Hunter to Lana Haynie of Prescott, owner of the ATV.
Glenwood man charged
A felony aggravated assault on a household member charge was filed Jan. 16 against Shannon Troy Gregg, 43, of Glenwood. Gregg is also charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
According to court records, Gregg was arrested on Jan. 12 after allegedly threatening his wife with a rifle after he had been drinking whiskey and smoking marijuana. When law officers arrived at the Gregg home on Republic Road, he had to be subdued and shocked with a Taser before being shackled and placed in a patrol unit.
Gregg’s wife told officers that her husband has become very aggressive toward her and at one point held a rifle under his own chin. As she tried to escape the residence through a window, Gregg reportedly fired the weapon. Once outside, Gregg called for his wife and told her “it was going to be a bloody night.” Lawmen located the rifle inside the residence and the wife showed them a hole in the ceiling where the rifle had been fired.
When Gregg was being booked at the county jail, he reportedly told officers that if he would have had his rifle in his hands when they arrived that he would have shot them all.