Judge Considers Delay In Jesse Lee Williams Case - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Judge Considers Delay In Jesse Lee Williams Case

Cameras are not allowed inside the Federal Courthouse in Gulfport.

That's where attorneys in the case of Jessie Lee Williams, presented arguments as to whether a 150 million dollar civil lawsuit filed on behalf of the Williams family, should be put on hold until the criminal investigation is complete.

Cy Faneca, representing Sheriff George Payne, believes it should.

"One reason is that defendants in criminal cases have a right not to incriminate themselves under the U.S. Constitution. Another reason for that is that all the people who were present during the incident have been directed by the department of justice not to discuss any of the facts of that incident. So if the civil suit were to proceed, basically none of the parties would be able to say anything," says Faneca.

Faneca says the criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department may be completed by the end of the summer.

During Friday's hearing, Williams' family attorneys John Whitfield and Michael Crosby questioned whether an investigation has even begun.

"They have said that they are investigating. That's true. But what difference does it make if they're gonna investigate for 160 days. We need action. We need results from that investigation. We need to see somebody held accountable for what happened to Jessie Lee Williams, Jr.," says Crosby.

One side says it is in the best interest of everyone if the civil case is delayed and the criminal case proceeds first, the other says justice delayed is justice denied.

Both sides agree this long process is frustrating.

No time as been announced as to when Judge Walker will make his decision.

By Karla Redditte

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