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Williams, public deserve speedy trial on charges

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To the editor:

On Feb. 1, Sunset Beach Councilman Mike Williams was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence and driving on the wrong side of the road. His driver’s license was revoked. His court date was set for June 4. On June 4, at his request, his DWI court date was postponed until July 30. On July 30, at his request, his DWI court date was again postponed — until Sept. 26.

The problem is that under North Carolina law, Mike got his driver’s license back 30 days after his arrest. So, the same person arrested for DWI and driving on the wrong side of the road continues to drive, and will until his trial — whenever that finally happens. Innocent until proven guilty is a great concept, but when the accused is casually allowed to keep putting off the day of judgment — and keep his driving privileges in the meantime — all of our rights are violated. By what possible definition is an eight-month delay a “speedy and public trial?”

No more continuances, Mr. Jon David, our elected district attorney. When you finally get around to holding it, we’ll be watching this trial closely. Let’s see whether justice makes special exceptions for the well-connected in Brunswick County. Let’s see whether she really is blind or merely late.

 

Jim Thomas

Sunset Beach