The state filed a second felony child sex charge against a man who has been in jail for more than two years on a similar charge, surprising the man’s defense attorney who had petitioned for a bond reduction for his client.
Antione Latrell Williams, 33, had been held in the Bell County Jail in lieu of a $200,000 bond since Oct. 19, 2017. On July 20, jail records showed another $200,000 bond was imposed after the state added a second charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child, a first-degree felony.
Judge Paul LePak, who presides over the 264th Judicial District Court, heard testimony and arguments during several remote hearings this month before making his decision on Friday to reduce both bonds.
LePak ordered that, if released, Williams is to have no contact with any person under the age of 17, to wear an ankle monitor and to be constantly supervised by family members, among other conditions.
Williams was being held in the Bell County Jail on Monday in lieu of a bond of $40,000 on the 2017 case and $20,000 on the newly filed case.
He was indicted on Nov. 29, 2017, on the 2017 charge and has not been indicted on the second charge that was filed with the district clerk’s office on July 22.
Charges old and new
Defense attorney Zachary Boyd took issue with the state filing a second charge with allegations that are “a decade old.”
“My concern becomes that (the new charge) has been brought to present a ‘parade of horribles,’” he said during a July 20 hearing on Williams’s bond.
Three separate allegations, the earliest from 2007, arose during the Killeen Police Department’s investigation into the 2017 outcry, according to testimony from a KPD detective on July 24. No explanation was given for why the state did not file charges against Williams prior to the 2017 allegation.
No charges have been filed regarding the 2007 allegation against Williams.
When KPD Det. Amanda Holtzclaw was asked by Boyd why there were no prosecutions on the earlier cases, the detective said that the cases had not been screened by the DA’s office.
Holtzclaw, who was not assigned to the 2007 and 2011 investigations, said that she began looking into the old cases as part of her investigation into the 2017 outcry.
Holtzclaw said that she spoke with Williams, who said he was a “peewee football coach” and that he loved to babysit for friends.
“He met victims that way,” Holtzclaw said. “I have multiple concerns about him being released from jail. He places himself into situations where he has access to children.”
On Dec. 27, 2011, Killeen police took a report from a woman who said that her daughter, who was under the age of 10, reported that Williams had been going into her bedroom at night and sexually assaulting her while he was living at the home, according to the arrest affidavit.
The alleged victims’ mother testified that a detective spoke to all of her children and at that point her son also made an outcry.
“Nobody (from KPD) bothered to call (the alleged 2011 victims) for a decade until last week when we started a writ (of habeas corpus) hearing,” Boyd said.
LePak expressed some concern about the timing of the new charge.
“It’s a little unsettling when, during a bond hearing, a new case gets filed,” he said.
“But the state didn’t drop this case out of thin air. (Assistant District Attorney Anne Jackson) didn’t have law enforcement scrape together old accusations. I’ve seen that happen before and I don’t think it’s the case here.”
The indicted case dates back to Aug. 12, 2017, when Killeen police were dispatched to a home in reference to a person armed with a weapon, according to the arrest affidavit. There, officers met with a woman who said a 7-year-old child made an outcry that his babysitter, Williams, had sexually assaulted him.
The woman told police that Williams had been babysitting a number of children at her residence in the 5800 block of Redstone Drive in Killeen. The child allegedly described pornographic photos to a forensic interviewer and said that Williams had shown the pictures to him. He then described a sexual assault, according to the affidavit.
Boyd argued that the coronavirus has created conditions in the Bell County Jail that made his petition for a writ of habeas corpus necessary.
“This is unacceptable,” Boyd said during the first hearing on July 16. “This is turning my client into Sir Walter Raleigh.”
Boyd said that COVID-19 has created a unique set of circumstances.
“It’s completely changed the dynamic...and now we have due process concerns as a result,” he said.
Boyd said that inmates are in danger because of the nature of the virus and lack of ventilation, filtration and social distancing in jail.
“The court knows that COVID-19 can run rampant, so the dangers are absolutely real,” he said.
Jackson argued that the community would be in danger if Williams were released from jail.
“He has not been exposed (to COVID-19) and he has no underlying conditions...It doesn’t affect his health more than any other inmate,” she said. “He was staying with multiple people who had children so he could have access to children. He’d ask to take care of children. The danger to the community far exceeds any risk from COVID-19.”