Thursday, January 29, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Councilman’s killer in jailhouse interview outlines quest for new trial

henry williams_2_10_14

Henry D. Williams appears in Solano County Superior Court in Fairfield, Feb. 10. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | August 15, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — On the eve of a hearing about possible juror misconduct during his 2010 murder trial, the man who shot and killed Fairfield City Councilman Matt Garcia in 2008 said Thursday he is suing his defense attorney and that Judge Robert Bowers is not going to be fair.

Henry D. Williams wants his current court-appointed deputy public defender, the same attorney who lost Williams’ murder trial, replaced by an attorney from San Francisco who had initially handled the juror misconduct issue after the Court of Appeal ordered the hearing be conducted.

The hearing is intended to flesh out Williams’ claims that a juror approached his wife in the courthouse hallway during a break in his jury trial and began talking with her in a conversation that eventually included the juror offering to trade his vote for sex. The juror, who ultimately was the foreman, acknowledges having a brief conversation with Williams’ wife, but denies anything other than pleasantries were exchanged.

Williams shot and killed Garcia on the night of Sept. 1, 2008, in a drunken case of mistaken identity. Williams and an accomplice were looking for a methamphetamine dealer who had ripped off the accomplice for $50 earlier in the day. Williams mistook Garcia for the dealer and fired several shots at him. Williams blamed the accomplice for the shooting.

Williams thinks it was “really fishy” the way the San Francisco attorney was replaced by the public defender in December 2013, two months after the appellate decision, and then the hearing was sent back to Bowers instead of being handled by another judge.

Williams says his lawsuit was mailed to the civil court Aug. 9. Court records do not reflect the lawsuit having been filed. The lawsuit claims Williams is the victim of professional negligence by his public defender.

“I just want a fair shot at this,” Williams said during a jailhouse interview. “I can’t be sitting in a (prison) yard playing guitar thinking woulda, coulda, shoulda. I have to say something. If something starts out tarnished, it’s likely it’s going to end up tarnished.”

Williams said he believes Bowers’ bias is obvious because he did not move the 2010 murder trial to a different county and he allowed what Williams described as improper jury instructions and evidence for jurors to consider. Williams, who acted as his own lawyer for several months earlier this year, also says he was bullied into having the public defender take over the hearing from him a few months ago.

“He previously revealed to me his belief that (Bowers) is not going to be fair and that I was not going to get a fair trial in this county in front of this judge,” Williams said. “You can’t expect me to sit there and do nothing. The attorney’s job is to protect me and he is not protecting me.”

Williams said he hopes the misconduct hearing reveals that something was going on during jury deliberations and it results in a new trial with a new judge outside of Solano County.

“I’m taking a stand for my right to a fair trial,” Williams said. “The judge is going to do his thing. Let’s get it on the record and get the ball rolling.”

“I have kids, a career,” he said. “I want to be out of this sometime soon. I’m ready to go home. This battle has just begun.”

Garcia, 22, was one of the youngest elected officials in the state when he was elected to office in 2007 at age 21. He was the youngest councilman in Fairfield history.

Williams is scheduled to appear in court Friday.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 13 comments

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  • Linda TenbrinkAugust 14, 2014 - 9:58 pm

    "I have a career" - really ?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • ErikaAugust 14, 2014 - 10:16 pm

    You have kids!? Great, Matt was someone's kid! And you robbed him of every having his own 'kids' - drunk or not... right or wrong person shot... you followed that car got out and shot to kill. GUILTY! In any county you show your face in. God have mercy on your soul.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • GinaAugust 14, 2014 - 10:19 pm

    Rot in hell Williams

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mrs. JohnsonAugust 15, 2014 - 12:22 am

    You want to go home??? I want you to go home too: to the prison where you will live out the remainder of your pathetic life! Get out of our county jail and quit with your feeble attepts to slip through loopholes in the justice system. You will NEVER succeed! You have stolen the only thing you will EVER take from us. Matt continues to influence us in spirit. We will bring change in our society and change to the laws that allow GUILTY PERPETRATORS such as yourself to try to victimize the loved ones that are left behind. Hang in the yard and play your guitar while mine gently weeps, and look over your shoulder while the rest of us continue to live beautiful lives and make a positive difference. The chickens have come home to roost Henry... I do believe your time is running short.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • K.RamirezAugust 15, 2014 - 1:45 am

    Yes you have children ,you had a job, and you had a life that you'd like to get back to, ,to bad MATHEW WILL NEVER HAVE CHILDREN!!!! Mathew will never get to finish the job he dreamed about his whole life!! And Mathews life was taken from him, so there will be no moving forward with life for MATHEW

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • 2realAugust 15, 2014 - 6:41 am

    Electric chair asap

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Anne GriffinAugust 15, 2014 - 7:23 am

    I didn't know you could make a career out of being a loser and a scumbag! As far as his children go, they would be better off never knowing him or at least knowing that he is paying for his crime by serving the rest of his life in prison, where he can't harm the rest of society. He should not be allowed to continue this harassment of Matt's family. This is abuse of the system!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Tammi BowersAugust 15, 2014 - 8:52 am

    OMG!!!What a total loser!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • P.J.August 15, 2014 - 9:03 am

    The hearing is set today for 1:30 p.m. Hall of Justice, Union St. There will be a gathering of Matt's friends and family members who will petition the judge to put an end to this scumbag's harassment of Matt's family. Please come to show your support.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Barbara McFaddenAugust 15, 2014 - 10:51 am

    To see a quote like "I just want a fair shot at this" coming from the man who didn't bother to even find out who he was shooting at, makes me so angry..... where is Matt's fair shot at a family, a career, a life! This man intended to kill someone that night and took away a bright, shining star in our community, how do you expect people to feel! PLEASE.....those involved, do this by the book so justice can be served!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • chrisAugust 15, 2014 - 11:59 am

    his pathetic whining makes me sick. he doesn't deny killing Matt but just wants to skirt the issue. let him rot in jail till he dies.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • AnthonyAugust 15, 2014 - 2:40 pm

    I can't believe the DR would print this. What's worse is I can't believe I read it. I feel like I need to take a shower. How much more does Matt's family have to endure before Williams forever goes back to the hole they let him out of?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Melissa JohnsonAugust 16, 2014 - 10:48 am

    I agree with you. This article is disgusting! But I don't really expect anything more from this rag!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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