Judge Grants Defendant’s Request for New Defense Counsel

A DC Superior Court judge agreed to appoint new counsel for a murder defendant who said he was displeased with his lawyer’s work in his case.

Herman Williams is charged with first-degree murder while armed in the shooting of 36-year-old William Boykin, Jr. on May 28, 2019. He is also charged with assault with intent to kill while armed in the non-fatal shooting of another man during the incident, as well as four firearm possession charges.

According to court documents, surveillance footage shows an individual suspected to be Williams firing at a group of people on the 2600 block of Birney Place, SE.

During a status hearing on Jan. 13, the 30-year-old defendant said he has not spoken to his defense attorney, Roderick Thompson, and did not want him as his lawyer.

“I’ve never spoken to this man. I don’t have any paperwork from any lawyer,” Williams said. “I’ve never met with him, I’ve never talked with him. No use talking about trial dates.”

Williams was indicted on March 3, 2020. His trial was postponed multiple times.

Judge Rainey Brandt paused the hearing for another matter so Thompson and Williams could speak. The hearing was recalled approximately  20 minutes later. Having spoken to Williams, Thompson requested another hearing for the purpose of getting the defendant a new lawyer.

“The communication between Mr. Williams and myself, and his expectations for the work that has been done thus far is not up to par and not effective from his point of view,” Thompson said. “He’s expressed displeasure with my effectiveness.”

Judge Brandt decided to appoint Russell Hairston as Williams’ new lawyer. The defendant is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 23.