Murder suspect released twice on HIP; legislation hopes to make changes

Deandre Williams (Source: Nycea Patterson, WAVE 3 News)
Deandre Williams (Source: Nycea Patterson, WAVE 3 News)
Updated: Apr. 5, 2018 at 7:02 PM EDT
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Deandre Williams (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Deandre Williams (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Jamie Denton relies on her faith every day.

"God has his time of doing things and we just can't stop his work," Jamie Denton said.

Denton hopes 20-year-old Deandre Williams, the man police say confessed to murdering her son, Robert Leachman, will one day be behind bars for good.

Williams was arrested in August shortly after the shooting; less than 24 hours later he was released on home incarceration.

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Williams was indicted following that release. However, on March 27, he was released on HIP again.

"My heart, it just like stopped and d ropped," Ernestine Denton said. "This is the second time."

"I understand that we have jail overcrowding issues," Josh Crawford of the Pegasus Institute, a local think-tank, said. "But, to balance that crowding problem on the backs of homicide defendants always seemed like a strange approach to pretrial release."

Crawford got wind of the Denton family's case and so many others like it.

They helped inspire Senate Bill 133. If signed, among many things, it would force a judge to make sure that a defendant is not a threat to society before releasing them on HIP.

"The default position is that for homicide defendants, home incarceration is not the proper tool for a pretrial release or detention.," Crawford said.

"People cut their watches off all the time and commit crimes, murders," Jamie Denton said.

Denton stated that this legislation came too late for her family. However, she hopes it'll actually alter judge's rulings moving forward.

"If it was there kinfolk or loved ones, or daughters, or sons, they would not want that to happen," Jamie Denton said. "I promise you they would probably still be in there."

Williams is due back in court August.

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