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Friday, February 18, 2011

Judge Denies Motion to Expunge Records from Police Misconduct

Judge denies motion to expunge case records linked to grand jury police investigation
The Tulsa World by Omer Gillham - February 17, 2011

A federal judge has denied a request by a Tulsa man to have his court record expunged even though the court had previously thrown out his life sentences due to alleged police corruption, records show. DeMarco Deon Williams, 35, was freed from federal prison April 30 as part of a grand jury investigation of police misconduct. Court records show Williams was convicted April 25, 2008, in a federal court in Tulsa of cocaine possession with intent to distribute. Williams received two life sentences in a trial presided over by U.S. Chief District Judge Claire Eagan, of the Northern District. Before being freed, Williams spent about six years in federal prison or in jail awaiting trial. He is represented by attorney Randy Lynn. On Jan. 11, Williams filed a motion in federal court to have his court records expunged involving his federal convictions, records show. Williams said that the convictions, even though thrown out, had subjected him to a social stigmatism. Williams' motion stated that "he has experienced extreme difficulty in finding employment and in generally establishing a life and identity for himself because of the unconstitutional conviction at issue in the case." Eagan denied Williams' request, stating that the court has a competing interest in keeping the records in place so they can be accessible for the criminal trials expected to occur during the prosecution of five Tulsa police officers. Williams also may need the records for a civil suit he is expected to file in the case, Eagan wrote. Eagan also noted that the government states that Williams has three previous convictions in Tulsa County District Court that remain in the record. Jane W. Duke, the U.S. attorney for eastern Arkansas, is a special prosecutor overseeing the grand jury investigation of police corruption. The investigation became public Nov. 1, 2009. The World reported that federal prosecutors were investigating alleged police misconduct involving stolen drugs and money, falsified search warrants, nonexistent informants and perjury. Six former and current police officers have been charged in the federal investigation. Thirty-one people have been freed from prison, had charges dismissed or sentences reduced. Omer Gillham 581-8301 -

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