Suspect eludes additional charge after early release

Feb. 08, 2013 @ 04:40 PM

A woman injured in a domestic dispute feared for her safety when the man arrested returned less than 24 hours later, resulting in a second call to Henderson police.

And due to a clerical error in the bond condition set by Judge Henry Banks, police were unable to charge the man with violating conditions of his bond.

Dominique Williams, 24, was jailed Sunday without bond on a charge of domestic assault. According to police, the victim was reported to have sustained a blow to the head and tooth loss.

Williams was jailed, in accordance with a 48-hour domestic hold without bond. However, it is not unusual for judges, at their availability, to set bond conditions and allow an earlier release.

Banks confirmed but would not disclose the circumstantial reason for Williams’ release. Williams is scheduled to appear in District Court on Feb. 26.

The judge was contacted by bonding agent Angie Williams, the mother of Dominique.

“She called me while I was at church, and I returned her call,” Banks said, adding he set bond with conditions, “like with any other case.”

“The North Carolina general statue is in place to protect domestic victims from violence,” Henderson Police Chief Keith Sidwell wrote in an email response to The Dispatch. “The cooling off period was put into place because there are documented cases of suspects returning to the victim’s residence to commit violent acts, including homicide.”

Sidwell said that Williams’ second visit to the victim’s location caused her to fear for her safety.

“My second concern is that a North Carolina licensed bonding agent utilized her official position for the release of a loved one, and circumvented the due process of not only the victim, but the suspect as well,” Sidwell wrote.

He added that a condition of the $1,000 bond included a notation for no contact with the defendant, an error that became a technical sticking point on charging Williams with contacting the victim.

“It made the arrestee’s actions not in violation,” Sidwell said.

Banks said his condition on bond was for there to be positively no contact with the victim by Williams, and although he was not aware of contact being made, in his mind any contact would bring to question a violation of his order.

“I don’t know anything about that,” Banks said. “That’s possibly a violation of the order.”

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.