Orange County sheriff’s deputies packed into a courtroom on Monday, upset over a possible plea deal.
Deputies told a judge that a man accused of shooting his brother, attacking a pregnant woman and then firing at deputies is getting off way too easily.
Two Orange County deputies made impact statements telling the judge a deal cut with a man they said tried to kill them isn’t what they hoped for.
Sheriff John Mina told Channel 9 that Avery Williams should spend decades behind bars.
Williams was charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
He could have gotten 30 plus years in jail, but the plea deal presented means Williams will only spend 15 years behind bars.
The defense argued that the victims do not have the only say.
Prosecutors said the deal was partly based on the fact that Williams was injured in the shooting.
The affidavit called Williams a violent felony offender of special concern and stated he had just gotten out of prison a few months before the shooting and was on probation.
On Tuesday, the state attorney’s office responded to our questions about the deal. Telling us in part, “In keeping with our commitment to do justice, we evaluate cases based on the totality of the evidence and the mitigation provided. Based on the defendant’s history of mental illness, and the fact that the only person shot on this day was the defendant, it is the State’s position that this 15-year offer that is above the criminal punishment code guidelines is sufficient for the evidence that was provided.
Adding that, “Prosecutors have the responsibility to use their discretion to enforce the law in a manner that is not only fair and just, but also rooted in education, prevention, and an opportunity for rehabilitation. To subjugate the discretion of prosecutors to the will of law enforcement on how cases are best resolved is not only erroneous, but also contrary to how the legal system is designed to operate.
In a statement, The office also disputed the sheriff’s allegations that Williams fired at the deputies saying “There were no statements provided by any victim—law enforcement or civilian that the defendant discharged his firearm at them. For the Sheriff to state in this interview that the defendant was “. . .Shooting at deputies . . . on body worn camera” is inconsistent with both the facts and the truth. It was law enforcement who presented the charges to the State Attorney’s Office. If the defendant did in fact shoot at law enforcement as the Sheriff stated, the appropriate charge would have been attempted first-degree murder on a law enforcement officer. Law enforcement did not present those charges.
Sheriff Mina has not yet responded on that claim.
The plea hearing is set for Dec. 16.