Williams child molesting sentence gets upheld
The Court of Appeals of Indiana recently upheld the 99-year sentence given to a Coatesville man for molesting a young female relative.
In February 2013, Putnam Circuit Court Judge Matthew Headley sentenced 39-year-old David L. Williams to 99 years, with 90 to be executed with the Indiana Department of Correction.
A jury previously found Williams guilty of nine counts of Class A felony child molesting and one count of Class B felony incest.
Williams, through attorney Joel Wieneke, argued that his statement to police should not have been used as evidence and that convictions of both child molesting and incest constitute double jeopardy.
He further asserted that the trial court abused its discretion in administering the sentence and that the sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and Williams' character.
Presiding Judge Paul Mathias disagreed with all four of Williams' assertions, concluding his 21-page opinion by briefly addressing each:
"The trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting Williams' statement to the police into evidence because his statement was not coerced. Williams' convictions for Class A felony child molesting and Class B felony incest do not constitute double jeopardy because there was no reasonable possibility that those convictions were based upon the same actual evidence. Lastly, even if the trial court did abuse its discretion in its consideration of certain aggravating factors in sentencing Williams, we need not remand for resentencing because the sentence imposed by the trial court is not inappropriate."
Putnam County Prosecutor Timothy Bookwalter has repeatedly spoken of how blatant the abuse was in this case, and said the Court of Appeals decision reflects the views of most who have come into contact with the case.
"That case mattered more than any case that I've ever handled," Bookwalter told the Banner Graphic, "because it was so egregious."
Williams' legal issues are not at an end with the appeal, either.
Besides his Putnam County conviction, Williams is awaiting trial in Hendricks County for three more felonies, as some of the crimes were committed there.
A pre-trial conference in the Hendricks County case is set for Jan. 8 in Hendricks Superior Court with a Jan. 29 jury trial to follow.