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Defendant Claims Right to a Speedy Trial was Violated


This is a case of appeal being heard in the First Judicial Department, Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York. The People of the State of New York are the respondents. The defendant and appellant of the case is Clarence Williams who is also known under the name Fletcher Anderson Worrell.

A New York DWI Lawyer said the defendant is appealing a judgment that was made in the Supreme Court of New York County that convicted him of robbery in the first degree and rape in the first degree. The issue in front of the court is whether or not the statutory and constitutional rights of the defendant for a speedy trial were violated. The additional issue in this case is whether there should have been an inquiry of the jurors as to whether they had read anything in the newspaper about the trial before it began.

Case Background

This case involves a rape and a robbery that took place in 1973 in Manhattan. The defendant has a history of being arrested under several different names. One example is in August of 1972 he was arrested for possessing burglar’s tools and gave the name of Anderson Worrell. When he was arrested for rape in 1973 he gave the name Clarence Williams. At the time of the arrest for rape he stated that he did not have a criminal history.

While he was awaiting trial in this particular case the defendant was arrested for an attempted murder and rape that took place on the 18th of July in 1974 in Queens. He again gave his name as Anderson Worrell. The defendant was tried in this case as Clarence Williams in November of 1974. A mistrial was declared as the jury could not reach a verdict.

The defendant was tried as Anderson Worrell in Queens County and convicted of attempted murder and rape. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. This verdict was eventually reversed and the defendant was returned to New York County for a warrant from the case from 1978. He claims that his right to a speedy trial was impaired.

Court Discussion and Decision

In the motion for speedy trial the defendant states that he was committed to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington D.C. from the years 1978 through 1981. However, a New York DWI Lawyer said the hospital records show that there was no one in there care under the name that was provided.

There is DNA evidence to show that between the years 1987 through 1991 the defendant committed 9 rapes and committed 2 more rapes in New Jersey in 1993.

The defendant argues that his right to a speedy trial was denied. However, the reason that he was not given a speedy trial was that the People were unable to find him.

His other argument is that an inquiry of the jurors before his trial. During his trial the defense requested a camera inquiry for the jurors to determine whether or not they had read the article that was written about the case in the New York Times. The Court denied this request.

After reviewing all of the facts of the case the judgment made by the Supreme Court during the trial and sentencing has been amended and the court affirms the judgment. A Nassau County DWI Lawyer said the sentence of the defendant is consecutive terms of 8 and 1/3 years to 25 years followed by 7 to 21 years.

If you are in need of legal advice of any kind contact the law offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. Our team will be happy to discuss all of your legal options with you. Our offices are located conveniently throughout New York City and you may call us at any time to set up a free consultation.

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