Management Resources, Ltd. of NY principals, Kim Anklin and Bob Rahn once again worked alongside defense attorneys to secure another man’s freedom.
In early 2008, Randy Williams was wrongfully convicted for the 2007 murder of 36-year-old Vincent Hill. Hill, a known violent felon, was killed during a multiple person shoot out. The incident occurred in a courtyard within the Williamsburg Houses located in Brooklyn, NY.
During the 2008 trial, the prosecutor told the jury Williams had been identified by three eyewitnesses. However, when it was their turn to testify, two of the prosecutor’s witnesses recanted their stories and the third refused to come to court. The judge permitted the taped grand jury testimony of the final witness, a woman with a history of mental illness, to be played to the jury. Cross examination by the defense was not permitted based on a vague claim that someone in the neighborhood had called her a “snitch” causing her fear of live testimony.
He was sentenced to 25 to life sentence in prison.
Over the next 9 years, Randy Williams maintained his innocence. He had three alibi defense witnesses that testified Williams was with them in Coney Island during time of the murder in Williamsburg located 15 miles away.
Subsequent to the conviction, his mother Rosie Benjamin, hired Richard Mischel, a highly regarded appellate attorney. In February 2015, and Williams’ 8th year in prison, the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, Second Department, vacated Williams’ conviction and ordered a new trial. The court held that barring Williams from the courtroom without setting up video or audio link so that he could communicate with his lawyer during the witness threat hearing deprived him of the opportunity to confer with his attorney and to engage in the “meaningful participation to which he was entitled.” The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office decided to retry Williams for the murder of Hill. Williams would lose another year of his life waiting.
Williams’ new defense attorney, Michael Farkas, working with civil rights and wrongful conviction attorneys Paul Callan and Martin Edelman retained the investigative services of Management Resources Ltd. of NY to uncover any further information that would lead to the truth, and justice for Randy Williams.
During their 10 month investigation, Kim Anklin and Bob Rahn located and interviewed all three original prosecutor witnesses, the majority of 911 callers, and like other similar cases, uncovered instances of police misconduct and eyewitness recantations.
The only eyewitness, who refused to appear for both trials, told defense investigators she was under constant threat of arrest for perjury and drug charges, and threats of eviction for her and her family’s apartment.
The defense team also hired a photo specialist to determine whether what the witness claimed to have seen was even possible. It was established that she could not see any individual’s face and definitely not a face to identify Williams as the shooter.
Randy Williams’ retrial began on March 7, 2016. Once again, the eyewitnesses refused to testify by evading the prosecutor’s investigators and NYPD Detective’s resulting in the judge dismissing the charges against him. Randolph Williams Jr. was immediately released and walked out of Brooklyn Supreme Court with his family a free man.
The ripple effect of wrongful convictions resonates throughout families and communities. Randy Williams’ time behind bars can never be returned, nor his time away from his family and the promise of his future.
The person who shot and killed Vincent Hill in 2007 is still at large. As with virtually all wrongful convictions, justice for his family has not been served.