Jessica Williams: Exclusive Interview + More

(Feb. 26) -- In an exclusive interview taped at the women's prison Wednesday afternoon Williams opened up to the I-team's George Knapp about the prospects of a new trial and about possibly being released on bail.  George is here with that interview.

Jessica Williams says she now has some hope because a judge ordered that she get a new trial. But the emotionally fragile 23-year-old also says she isn't ready to even think about maybe getting out of prison one day.

We've talked to Jessica several times in the years since the tragic accident, and in most of these encounters she's broken down in uncontrollable sobs. We purposely tried to make this a less emotional experience for her, talking about the case, the judge, and a new trial.

Jessica Williams isn't exactly jumping for joy about her prospects for a new trial. She says she has received encouragement form her family, her lawyers, fellow inmates, and members of the public who write to her, but she still seems to teeter on the brink of an emotional breakdown whenever the I-15 incident is mentioned.  We focused on Wednesday's court hearing. She said she had a premonition and good vibe about judge Michael Douglas.

Jessica Williams told us, "From everything he said, he really understood the issues John brought up. I know it took 15 minutes to explain them to me. I just think what he did was very honorable. Made me feel good he would look at it fairly, at the law, and, I just wish my family was in court."

Defense lawyer John Watkins says Jessica's family had offered to fly or drive here from Texas for the hearing but that he advised them not to. It seems the decision by the judge was a surprise to all parties.  Watkins plans to take it a step further and ask that Williams be released on bail pending a new trial.

Williams' Attorney John Watkins said, "Absolutely. We are putting together a bail motion. She's been incarcerated, has a good record here. She's no threat to the public, no threat to run. We would hope that at least the judge would release her on house arrest."

When asked if she could imagine that Jessica said, "I can try but it doesn't really work that well. It's too hard to open up like that--it's easier to be in a shell."

Jessica's case worker told us that she generally keeps to herself inside, which is a good sign, because it means she isn't getting into trouble with others...Jessica says she has a job six hours a day working as an education assistant. She still takes classes and bible study sessions and has a regular routine.  Whether that routine can be kept is up in the air since she doesn't know at this point if she will stay at North Las Vegas or be returned to the County Detention Center.


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