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August 3, 2013

Appeals court overturns convictions, sentences

A state appeals court has overturned two of the convictions and prison sentences handed down last fall to a Grayson County man, in conviction with the 2010 armed robbery of a Hunt County game room and a shootout with a Hunt County Sheriff’s deputy, which also resulted in the shooting death of a Greenville man.

But Darreus Demont Williams of Van Alstyne will not be getting out of prison anytime soon, as the Sixth Court of Appeals in Texarkana Friday upheld three of the convictions and sentences, including the two most serious counts.

A jury in the 196th District Court found Williams guilty in November 2012 of three counts of aggravated assault, and one count each of aggravated robbery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The panel sentenced Williams to 23 years in prison with a $10,000 fine on the aggravated robbery indictment, 18 years in prison for the aggravated assault on a public servant conviction and seven years in prison for each of the aggravated assault counts, with the sentences to run concurrently.

The appeals court received arguments July 26 concerning Williams’ appeals on all of the counts, in which he argued the evidence was insufficient to find him guilty of the offenses.

The appeals court agreed concerning two of the aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges, overturning the convictions and ordering acquittals on both counts.

But the court upheld the convictions and sentences on the remaining three counts.

The same court in November of last year denied the appeals raised by Williams’ co-actor. Guadalupe Ramirez III of Greenville was convicted by a jury during the fall of 2011 and was also sentenced to prison.

Williams and Ramirez acted alongside Vincent Thomas of Greenville on the night of Feb. 20, 2010 during the armed hold-up of the Bonnie Lou’s Game Room on State Highway 276.

Thomas was shot and killed during a gun battle with a Hunt County Sheriff’s deputy following a chase which ended at the Greenville city limits.

As a deadly weapon was found to have been used in the commission of the crimes, Williams will have to spend at least half of the longest sentence, or 11 and one-half years, in prison before he can be considered eligible for parole.

Williams was facing a maximum sentence of up to life in prison on the aggravated robbery and aggravated assault against a public servant indictments.

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