ATLANTA — The man in custody, charged with shooting into a crowd of people at Clark Atlanta University during a block party welcoming the new school year, said he tried to turn himself in to police - twice.
Isaiah Williams’ attorneys said he repeatedly tried to do the right thing, but that’s not being considered, as he sits in jail without bond. His attorneys said that’s not the only mistake in this case, and added that the timeline is crucial.
Williams, 22, turned himself in Wednesday. He’s facing several charges for the shooting where four Spelman and Clark Atlanta students were hurt back on Aug. 20. They all survived and are recovering from various levels of injury.
The day after the shooting, Atlanta police released video of a suspect. They said the man sitting on the bench with a ball cap is Williams
Nine days later, they released video of a second suspect, once again urging anyone who recognized either man to contact police. But William's attorney Kim Cornwell said at that same time, their client was trying to turn himself in.
“The appearance is, that they have been looking for him for weeks and weeks, when last week - last Tuesday it was - we were here twice, in fact, trying to turn him in,” Cornwell said.
Cornwell said it wasn’t until an arrest warrant was issued Tuesday that Williams was finally able to turn himself in. He is being charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and criminal attempt to commit murder.
At his first appearance Thursday morning, Williams was denied bond. His other attorney, Bruce Harvey, said he thinks it was because a series of inaccuracies in the pretrial service report and the arrest warrants.
“First off, he’s not a convicted felon. Second place, the pretrial services report says that he’s charged with non-bondable offenses. Every offense which he is charged with, every one of them are bondable offenses,” Harvey said.
He said Williams doesn’t have a criminal background at all, despite what the documents filed in court state. Harvey said the court didn’t factor in that Williams tried to turn himself in before, when denying him bond.
Shooting near Clark Atlanta University
When asked about the claims, the Fulton County District Attorney’s office sent a statement to 11Alive confirming that Williams did try to turn himself in, and that his attorney was in contact with D.A. Paul Howard. They also stood behind their decision requesting Williams not be released.
“Regardless of this defendant’s criminal history or any other issue raised by his representation, Mr. Williams is responsible for firing into a crowd of more than 200 people at a back-to-school celebration near a college campus, and it is my strong contention that he should remain in jail without bond,” the statement read in part.
Police have not released the identity of the second suspect, and a $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest. That number could increase if the Atlanta City Council votes to approve additional reward funds.
After the news of Williams' arrest broke, Clark Atlanta University sent a statement from their president commending the department.
“I would like to commend the Atlanta Police Department, the lead agency on this incident, and all public safety officials serving the AUC for their diligent work to identify and apprehend the suspect,” said CAU President Dr. George T. French Jr. “The AUC community is thankful that the suspect will be brought to justice.”