Preventing Anthony Williams From Coming Forward #3 and the Villarreal Case
At the time Atty. Benavides was appointed by the State Public Defender to represent Anthony Williams, he was also representing Demitrius Matticx. Matticx is one of the alleged killers in the October 20, 2011 homicide at 802 Vera Court, and is a known member of Lic Squad/MAD.
At the time of Atty. Benavides’ appointment, the professed reason for the need for a replacement attorney was that the court and the DA’s Office were disturbed that a conflict of interest existed for Atty. Sommers to represent Williams while simultaneously having Williams reveal criminal acts of Lic Squad/MAD, of which Williams was a member. However, somehow the DA’s Office, the court, and the State Public Defender were not concerned about the blatant conflict of interest presented by Atty. Benavides representing both Williams and Matticx.
The scenario gets even worse. Atty. Benavides did not follow the Supreme Court rule in having Williams sign off on paperwork acknowledging the potential conflict. This, though, is exactly how Atty. Benavides had acted once before when engaging in what the DA’s Office has acknowledged was a conflict of interest so serious that the DA’s Office said the defendant was entitled to have his conviction reversed and to receive a new trial. It gets worse…
In the aforementioned matter, one possible reason why the Dane County DA’s Office made their concession was that they were seeking to prevent testimony on their own possible extreme misconduct.
In the midst of a jury trial in Dane County Case 07 CF 567, State vs. Jesus Villarreal, the presiding judge, James Martin, on the record became aware and highly concerned about what appeared to Judge Martin to be the DA’s Office’s withholding of evidence and intimidation of a witness. Judge Martin was so affected by what he came across that he needed to step off the bench, apparently to compose himself. However, when he came back the issue that had concerned him had turned into a non-issue. Why?
The answer was that Atty. Benavides reached an agreement with the State after Judge Martin had left the bench. The DA’s Office, via ADA Mary Ellen Karst, acknowledges that in their conversation when they reached their agreement with Atty. Benavides, they raised with Benavides that he had a possible unethical conflict of interest.
One result of the reached agreement, which was by any rational perspective detrimental to Benavides’ client, was that Atty. Benavides did not pursue the issue of the DA’s Office withholding evidence or intimidating Benavides’ star witness. And in conjunction, the DA’s Office never raised Atty. Benavides’ unethical conflict of interest. It gets even worse…
Following the conviction and sentence of Villarreal, Atty. Benavides took an inexplicable course of action. He convinced the Villarreal family that they should retain him to do the appeal. However, when doing so, he completely disregarded the Supreme Court rules on a written fee agreement, the potential conflict issue, and to financial fees for which the Villarreal family would be responsible.
Atty. Benavides told the Villarreal family that he had had a meeting with Judge Martin after the trial (a different judge than the sentencing judge) and that due to this and to Atty. Benavides’ inside track, he would be able to have the conviction overturned. Atty. Benavides took moneys for the appeal, and then never took a single step to further the appeal. By taking the moneys and never processing the appeal, Atty. Benavides financially benefited in a way that the Villarreal appeal could have been completely killed legally for deadlines elapsing. Of course, if this had taken place, the issue of Atty. Benavides’ blatant conflict of interest would have never surfaced.
Atty. Benavides would eventually return moneys to the Villarreal family. This would be roughly 1 ½ years later and only after Benavides had no realistic choice to do otherwise.
All of the above is known to the DA’s Office. The bottom line is that Atty. Benavides is in a most compromised position. The DA’s Office could easily justify bringing criminal charges against him. This scenario was apparently of no concern to the DA’s Office, the court, and the State Public Defender.
After Atty. Sommers asked “What is going on?” in regards to Atty. Benavides being appointed as Williams’ attorney, Benavides stepped away, but not before claiming that Williams no longer wanted to talk. The State Public Defender, as shown later, then retaliated against Atty. Sommers.
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