The tragic death of Darrent Williams will forever be engrained in the memories of Broncos fans. It may have been eight years ago, but I remember vividly where I exactly was the day the news broke of his murder outside a Denver night club.
It was a cold, snowy day in rural Minnesota. I was making a short drive to the city in order to pick up some things at a local Target. I received a text from a friend who told me to turn on ESPN for breaking news about the Broncos. He didn't mention if it was good or bad, just that it was important. Putting the proverbial petal to the metal, I quickened my pace to town and arrived at Target .
Upon entering the store, I quickly made my way to the electronics section that conveniently had ESPN available on their television sets — and then I saw the horrendous news. It didn't take long, but I began to cry a river of tears. My legs began to weaken and I felt the need to leave the store immediately. What I had just seen was unfathomable and a situation I couldn't even begin to make sense of.
I sat in my car and bawled for over a half hour. To this day I don't know why it struck me as hard as it did. I had never met Darrent Williams before. I was just a Broncos fan who admired his play and tenacity he brought on the field, but the incident shook me more than most tragic things that happen in the world on a daily basis. As these words flow through my fingertips, I am once again overwhelmed with emotion and in many ways, still speechless about the events that transpired that dreadful day.
It took over three years for the the legal system to play out and find Willie Clark guilty of murdering Williams. His family, teammates and fans finally received some sense of closure with Clark's conviction. However, a recent ruling by the Colorado Appeals Court has once again revived the harsh memories from the past and may pave the way for a re-trial for Clark in the slaying of Williams.
While the read is lengthy and filled with legal jargon a basic summary is this: an appeal was filed due to alleged juror misconduct on behalf of the defendant (Clark) in which the Appellate Court has ruled a remand is this case. The dialogue regarding the issue can be found in section V., ¶178 and a summary of all discourse in section VI., ¶248 which states:
We reverse the trial court’s ruling denying defendant’s motion for a new trial and remand for an evidentiary hearing on the issue of juror misconduct. If misconduct occurred and there is a reasonable possibility that defendant was prejudiced by it, the court shall order a new trial. If not, the judgment of conviction remains affirmed, subject to defendant’s right to appeal the order.
In summation, a hearing will be held to determine whether or not juror misconduct happened. If so, a new trial for Willie Clark will be held in regard to Darrent Williams' murder. If not, the conviction will be upheld, though the defendant will retain the right to appeal such a decision.
All in all, the decision reached on April 23rd is certainly harrowing for the Williams family, Denver Broncos organization and fans who had thought that justice was served years ago when Clark was finally sentenced for his crime(s). MHR will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates on the court's decision regarding the possibility of a re-trial.
Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the Williams family.