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Man involved in standoff refuses court appearance
The 37-year-old man arrested outside his apartment Wednesday afternoon following a 3 1/2-hour standoff with police made his initial appearance in Yuma Justice Court on Thursday.
Jacson Williams, who waived his right to appear after refusing to follow instructions from detention officers, listened from a holding cell near the courtroom as Yuma Justice of the Peace Greg Stewart informed him of the charges that are pending against him.
Stewart told Williams that prosecutors are alleging he committed the offenses of sexual assault, aggravated assault and kidnapping, all of which were related to domestic violence.
“Understand that state prosecutors have, by law, two working days to review police reports, to speak with law enforcement, and perhaps to the alleged victim or any witnesses to decide if they are going to file formal charges,” Stewart said. “If no charges are filed, I would have to sign an order of release, releasing you to your own recognizance.”
Williams is scheduled to return to court on March 4 at 1 p.m., at which time he will be told whether a criminal complaint has been filed against him, charging him with any or all of the offenses. The judge also set William's bond at $500,000.
Prosecutor Mary White of the Yuma County Attorney's Office said she was concerned about whether the standard of due process was being met during the hearing. She asked the judge if there would be a record made at some point explaining what type of behavior Williams had engaged in that caused him to waive his right to be present.
“He has waived that right by his conduct. Based upon what has been presented to the court by the detention officers bringing him over, (he) has been restrained, so he will not be brought before the court and (the) result is contempt of court charges,” Stewart replied. “The details that have been provided is that he has been resistant and had to be physically restrained.”
When asked for a basis for the charges against Williams, White told the court that Williams was the boyfriend of the victim and that he had attacked her in a “very, very violent manner,” breaking at least one of her ribs.
“After (Williams) attacked her, he coerced her to go with him to a vacant building in the city of Yuma where he sexually assaulted her,” White said.
White went on to say that the victim also told police that Williams had previously attacked her in the past and that medical records showed some other ribs in the stages of healing.
Wednesday's standoff began when Yuma police officers tried to question Williams, who was at an apartment in the 2000 block of South 11th Avenue, about a domestic violence incident. Williams refused to speak with police or exit the apartment.
Yuma police then cordoned off the surrounding area and dispatched its Special Enforcement Team to the apartment. Adjacent apartments were temporarily evacuated as SET officers, armed with assault weapons and wearing black ballistic armor and helmets, secured the exterior of the residence Williams was inside.
Police then used a loudspeaker to urge Williams to leave the home. They also warned Williams they would send in a police dog who “will find you and will bite you” if he failed to exit. Attempts were also made to contact Williams via telephone.
At about 3:43 p.m., Williams and another man, whose identity was not released by police, came out of the apartment and were arrested. Williams was transported to Yuma Regional Medical Center for treatment of an unknown medical issue.
The second man was transported to YPD to be questioned by detectives who will determine if he had any involvement with the standoff or domestic violence incident.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.