For years, the Houston Police Department (HPD) and area law enforcement have been trying to solve a string of murders in the Acres Homes area here in our city. The killings have involved prostitutes in a depressed area of our city. The women all had criminal histories for drug possession and prostitution. They had all been victimized by the part-time criminal which is unmasked as life's circumstances. And because the women were disenfranchised and the safety of a community was threatened, local Community leaders and activists have been rightfully putting pressure on HPD to solve the cases. Every citizen should be afforded equal protection of the laws irrespective of their socioeconomic background.
Last week, HPD charged one of my clients with one of the murders and, even though there was no evidence linking him to several other killings, HPD announced that they were confident that they "had the person responsible" for the other killings as well. It was shameful. For years, HPD announced that they did not suspect that the killings were linked. And within the last four years, HPD declared that the case was solved on at least two previous occasions - with the arrests and convictions of two different individuals. My client is the third person that HPD has labeled the killer. Although there was no evidence that he killed any other person, the police suggested that he was the killer in the press. What further upset me was that HPD spoke to my client's family, knowing that I was going to be hired on the case, and told my client's family not to hire a lawyer for him. I had dealt with some of the detectives in other cases prior to my client being charged and was disappointed.
Furthermore, there was evidence that many of the other victims' bodies bore the DNA from semen of multiple different and unidentified contributors. My client's DNA was not found on the bodies of any of these homicide victims. Yet he was labeled the "probable killer." So, when I heard the announcement and the defamation of my client at a recent press conference, I spoke up and told the truth - my client was being politically scapegoated. HPD was taking credit for solving cases with his arrest; even though there was no evidence proving he was the killer. As expected, some people took exception to my assertion that my client was being scapegoated by the Houston Police Department. But the truth remains that HPD is attempting to gain political favor off the back of one of my clients.
The negative press, orchestrated by a police agency that has been pressured to solve a string of crimes, will deny my client a fair trial. All we hear is "DNA....DNA does not lie. It is scientific and science will be one credible witness." If that is the case, why smear Mr. McWilliams outside the courtroom before ever filing charges? Why leak damaging, untrue information to the press prior to ever filing any charges? Why not plainly tell the media that many of the bodies had the DNA of other people on them and did not contain Mr. McWilliams DNA? To date, the media has not been shown any DNA test results. In fact, when asked where was the DNA found...HPD refused to answer? Why overstate and/or misstate the evidence in the press?
Poor women in Acres Home deserve equal protection of the laws. Just and equitable law enforcement efforts to protect women, irrespective of their socioeconomic backgrounds should be SUSTAINED! But why not really go out and try to protect the women in Acres Homes? Why not provide the women with much needed services to insure that they stay off the streets? Why try Mr. McWilliams in the press for cases that cannot even be charged in court?