Preparing to bring the case before a jury, DuBoise said he worked with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office and contacted many of Williams’ alleged victims in that county to potentially testify should there be a punishment phase of the trial.
During plea negotiations, the district attorney’s office had only offered prison time, DuBoise said. However, during discussions with the victims before the trial, they said they would prefer to get their money back, according to DuBoise.
When Williams showed up at court Monday, he was taken into custody and booked into the Parker County Jail on a warrant after failing to appear in court earlier this month. (He was released later that day.)
DuBoise said he spoke with Williams’ attorney and told him they would offer probation, but they had to have a lump sum restitution payment that day.
DuBoise said Williams had his attorney pick up Williams’ mother, take her to the bank and return with the amount needed.
Williams pleaded guilty to state jail felony theft and received five years probation, the maximum allowed by state law for the offense, as well as a $250 fine, court costs and a requirement to perform 160 hours of community service.
Jim Stepp, of Pantego, was named as one of nearly two dozen alleged victims in the Tarrant County indictment.
Stepp told the Democrat that they were looking for carpet for their house when Williams quoted him a price of $1,600, about $100 lower than competitors.
It didn’t seem unusual that Williams wanted the money up front, Stepp said. They’d recently purchased furniture similarly.
However, Stepp said, the carpet never showed up.
They were initially told there was a problem with the order and it didn’t get put on the truck, according to Stepp.
Williams was not usually at his office and when they were able to reach him, they always got excuses, Stepp said.