‘The system works’: Man accused of blinding RPD Officer in attack found guilty on all counts
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The jury has found Keith Williams, the man accused of stabbing an RPD Officer in the face, blinding him, guilty on all four counts.
The attack happened on Oct. 4, 2019, inside a Peck Street home during a mental health call more than two years ago.
A little after 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, the jury returned with a guilty verdict after requesting to watch Officer Denny Wright’s body-worn camera video again. It took the jury less than 3 hours over the course of two days to render a verdict.
After the trial, Officer Denny Wright spoke about the bodycam footage that was presented to the jury:
"It may have been a little easier for me than everyone else that had to watch that. There are I guess advantages to not seeing what’s there. I didn’t need to see it. I knew. I lived through it. The hardest part for me was knowing that my family and everybody else had to go through this whole thing again. I would have preferred if that didn’t happen, but we all got through it and we can move past this part of what happened."
The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office gave News10NBC the body-worn camera footage. News10NBC has edited it to remove some of the more graphic and disturbing parts out, but be warned, it will still be extremely upsetting to some.
Watch the video in the player below, at your own risk (mobile users, click here):
The raw, unedited body camera footage includes language that may be offensive to some in addition to graphic content. Click here to see it.
Keith Williams will be sentenced on June 8 at 9:30 a.m. On the charge of attempted murder, he faces a minimum sentence of 20 years to life and a maximum sentence of 40 years to life.
“The system works. There’s a price to pay for your actions and he’s paying for his now," said Wright, after hearing the guilty verdict.
Keith Williams guilty on all 4 counts. pic.twitter.com/COKXTUGOKW— Patrick Moussignac (@WHEC_Moussignac) May 4, 2022
Keith Williams was charged with attempted murder and assault on a police officer for the Oct. 4, 2019, incident on 37 Peck St. where he allegedly attacked Officer Denny Wright.
Wright took the stand on Friday, detailing the attack. The jury also watched a body-worn camera video of the entire incident.
Williams’s attorney, Jean Caputo, said Williams was clearly having a mental health episode, and couldn’t tell that he was interacting with a police officer. Caputo said Wright never identified himself as an officer. She said her client has been in, and out of the hospital for his mental health issues.
Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley disputes those claims saying she believes that Williams knew and responded to Wright’s commands before he was “sucker-punched” by Williams, and eventually attacked. Doorley said it boils down to intent.
“Intent doesn’t mean premeditation. It means did you intend the consequences of your actions at the time you were committing the offense. So when he was stabbing officer Wright did he intend to kill him? Did he intend to hurt him? That’s where the intent comes into play and when you look at that you can look at what happened before. What were his conduct about what was he doing before and after,” Doorley said.
Wright told News10NBC that if he could, he would not only return back to work, he would also respond back to the Peck Street home this time with better results. Now he wants to put this behind him.
"Having this off my back will relieve a lot of stress continue to strive to find purpose. Be involved as much as I can with the department, the academy, the community," Wright said.
The Rochester Police Locust Club sent the following statement Wednesday night:
"The returned verdict of guilty on all counts in the trial of Keith Williams, gives some level of closure to a nightmare that has gone on for far too long for our brother Denny Wright, his family and for all of his brothers and sisters in and outside of our law enforcement circle."
"We are grateful for the dedicated hard work of District Attorney Sandra Doorley and her office for representing Denny and the “people” in this traumatic trial. We are also grateful for Supreme Court Justice Alex Renzi, who presided over the proceedings ensuring that a fair and impartial trial was held. We are especially thankful to a jury that remained composed, while meticulously studying the evidence and testimonies that at times were intense, and in ultimately reaching a just verdict."
"More than anything else we are so proud of our brother Denny Wright, who has shown all of us what true courage, grace and strength look like, and also what pure will can overcome. He is a true hero, who continues to this day to be a leader and a mentor to all of us."