Friday, August 15, 2008

Not guilty: Man cleared of holding up Killeen poker game

I found this story this morning.

by Paul A. Romer - Telegram Staff WriterPublished August 15, 2008215 Views View Map
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BELTON - The Bell County District Attorney’s Office hoped circumstantial evidence was enough to prevail in a case against a man they believe was the getaway driver in a heist that took place in June 2007 at a high-stakes poker game in Killeen.
It found out Tuesday that the evidence presented didn’t warrant a conviction when a jury, convened in 264th State District Court, deliberated for four hours and 20 minutes before returning a not guilty verdict on behalf of Calvin Dewayne Williams, 26, of Killeen.
Williams was exonerated on two counts of aggravated robbery.
“I totally respect the verdict of the jury. What we had was a largely circumstantial case,” prosecutor Mike Waldman said. “I believe Calvin was the driver …What I think happened was the jury did a good job following their oath and I think they found that we didn’t prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Williams’ car was used in the late-night heist, which occurred in 2900 block of Tucson Street in a gated community.
A would-be participant in the poker game drove up to the house and saw men dressed in black run from the house and get into a car.
The man told police he continued past the house with the car following behind him and was able to get the car’s license plate number.
Police tracked the car to Williams, who lived less than two miles from the robbery scene.
When officers arrived they knocked on the front door.
“My client was just at home and didn’t know anything was going on,” said Jack Holmes, Williams’ attorney. “He didn’t even know his car had been used.”
An officer stationed at the backyard of the property said he heard someone scale a rear fence and then saw a man run to a creek bed where he attempted to hide, according to court documents.
Police said that man was 22-year-old Richard Daniel Moaney IV, who pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery in February and is serving a 45-year prison term.
Waldman called Moaney “the main actor.” He said Moaney was the one who kicked in the door and pistol-whipped one of the poker players.
“He did that while he was on felony probation for engaging in organized criminal activity,” Waldman said.
Police reported finding two handguns along with $16,000, wallets and cell phones that matched those stolen in the robbery in a woodpile at a house next door to Williams’ house.
“We didn’t have anyone who could say for sure it was Calvin (driving),” Waldman said. “Our case was nothing more than circumstances that we put together. I think the jury wanted more.”
Waldman said he explained the nature of the case to the victims before it went to trial.
“They are happy with the way we tried the case,” he said. “They understand.”
The homeowner told police that after his door was kicked in two men with coverings over their faces and pistols in their hands ordered everyone to get down on the floor.
A guest who told police he refused to lie on the floor said he was pistol whipped and then slashed across his chest with a knife.
Moaney traveled from the Telford Unit in New Boston to testify at the trial but was never called.
Holmes said Moaney’s story was that Williams was not involved in the heist.
When asked why he didn’t call Moaney as a witness Waldman spoke about Moaney’s felony convictions.
“I sure didn’t want to sponsor him as one of my witnesses,” he said. “I didn’t care what he had to say.”
Since Williams was only charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and there were a total of eight victims, the state could potentially charge Williams with six other counts.
“No other charges are being considered,” Waldman said. “The jury spoke and we totally respect that.”
Police believe four men participated in the heist. The only people ever arrested in the case were Moaney and Williams.

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