Quincy attorney assigned to case of man who has been in Adams County Jail for nearly 27 months facing first-degree murder charges

Carlos Williams

Carlos Williams | Photo Courtesy of Adams County Jail

QUINCY — A Quincy man who has been in the Adams County Jail for nearly 27 months facing three counts of first-degree murder now has private counsel.

During a status hearing Thursday in Adams County Circuit Court, Judge Roger Thomson of Mason County accepted the appointment of Quincy attorney Nick Rober to represent Williams.

John Citro with the Adams County Public Defender’s office informed Judge Robert Adrian on Jan. 5 of a potential conflict of interest by representing Carlos Williams. Adrian agreed and removed Citro from the case. Vanessa Pratt was entered as counsel for Williams, but Adrian said she didn’t have the experience to solely represent Williams in the case. She remains as co-counsel.

Adrian, who no longer is handling cases on the felony docket, said the court would seek private counsel for Williams.

A status hearing for Williams has been scheduled for April 20.

Williams, 57, is accused of killing Orlando Smith, 20, by strangulation between May 27-30, 2019. Smith’s body was found May 30, 2019, in the 200 block of Koch’s Lane. 

Williams was arrested Nov. 19, 2019, when he appeared in court in an unrelated case. He since has remained in the Adams County Jail.

Chris Pratt was entered as Williams’ attorney on Nov. 21, 2019. A jury trial was set for March 9, 2020, then was pushed back to June 8, 2020, and again to Dec. 7, 2020. The case was then stricken from the December jury docket, and on Feb. 17, 2021, Chris Pratt was allowed to withdraw as Williams’ attorney. 

Six days later, Citro was named as Williams’ attorney.

A jury trial was finally set for Oct. 12, 2021, but on Sept. 15, 2021, the case was continued until Jan. 10, 2022 for a jury trial. However, Citro requested yet another continuance during a pre-trial meeting on Monday.

Williams continues to be held in the Adams County Jail on $5 million bond.

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