FAIRFIELD — The next step in the effort by the killer of Fairfield City Councilman Matt Garcia to get his conviction overturned has been scheduled.
Presiding Judge Paul L. Beeman scheduled a Dec. 19 hearing for Henry D. Williams, who claims his 2010 jury trial was tainted by juror misconduct.
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 claims a juror approached his wife in the courthouse hallway during a break in the 2010 jury trial and began talking with her in a conversation that eventually included the juror offering to trade his vote for sex. The juror acknowledges having a brief conversation with Williams’ wife, but denies anything other than pleasantries were exchanged.
Williams was found guilty of first-degree murder and was later sentenced to 50 years to life in prison. He is housed at California State Prison, Los Angeles County.
The Court of Appeal in October ordered the local courts to conduct a hearing on Williams’ claims.
Prosecutors say Williams’ claims are baseless.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.