Original Case Details
Deandre Williams, a 28-year-old man from Detroit stands accused of killing a Wayne County Sheriff’s deputy in the Wayne County Jail while he was being held on carjacking and weapons charges. Cpl. Bryant Searcy was killed as he made his rounds checking cell doors in the Wayne County Jail. According to authorities, Searcy closed a door he thought was locked and continued walking in an attempt to secure the next areas of the jail. The door unfortunately wasn’t locked, and Williams allegedly jumped out and attacked Searcy, choking him and beating him, finally taking Searcy’s keys to try to escape. Williams allegedly acted alone in attacking the Wayne County Deputy and attempting to escape from the Wayne County Jail. Deputies found Searcy unresponsive and had him transported to the hospital where he later died.
Criminal Charges for Alleged Cop Killer
Williams stands charged with three different murder charges for his alleged conduct in killing Cpl. Searcy, they are:
• First-degree murder: The is the most serious capital offense, the only sentence you can receive is a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
• Murder of a Police Officer: If a murder is committed on a peace or corrections officer while they are lawfully engaged in the performance of their duty, then the penalty will be the same as murder in the first degree; life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
• Felony murder: If a murder is committed during the commission of a felony, then the penalty will be the same as murder in the first degree; life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Williams is also charged with unarmed robbery and escaping jail through violence, described below:
• Unarmed robbery: This is a felony charge in which a defendant is accused of using force, violence, or fear to obtain money or property. A conviction for unarmed robbery carries a maximum sentence of up to fifteen years in prison.
• Escaping jail through violence: This is a felony charge that alleges someone breaks confinement and escapes but does not actually have to complete an escape from being lawfully imprisoned. A conviction for escaping jail through violence carries a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison.
Williams was remanded to the Wayne County Jail without bond. His next scheduled court date is a preliminary examination on September 23, 2020. He is currently charged in a separate armed robbery and police officer assault charge stemming from an incident in Redford this past February. It is extremely unlikely that Williams will ever be given a bond in this case as he is not only alleged to have killed a police deputy, he also has other capital felony charges that he is facing for unrelated alleged criminal activity.
What is Next for Williams?
Williams’s next court appearance will be in the 36th District Court for preliminary examination. A preliminary examination is hearing that takes place in the District Court with the purpose of determining if there is enough probable cause for the case to continue forward to the Circuit Court. More specifically, the prosecutor in a felony case has the burden to prove by a probable cause standard that a crime was committed, and enough probable cause to show that the defendant named in the case committed the crime. Testimony is taken at these hearings and they appear somewhat like a mini trial. There, however, is no jury and the prosecutor usually only puts on limited witnesses in order to satisfy the standard, but not give away too much of their case. Prosecutors also do this to avoid having to subject their witnesses to testifying on the record and facing cross examination from defense attorneys. If enough probable cause is shown, then the case is bound over the Wayne County Circuit Court for further proceedings and potential trial. If a judge feels that there is not enough probable cause shown, then the judge can dismiss the charges entirely. The probable cause standard is a very low one, and considering the likely available video that will be put into evidence in this case, it is expected that there would be enough evidence in this case to continue forward to Circuit Court for a potential trial.
Any Further Questions?
If you or a loved one is currently in the county jail for an alleged criminal charge, then it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Grabel & Associates, our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience in successfully defending criminal cases all over the state of Michigan. We offer a FREE consultation to anyone with questions relating to a possible or existing criminal charge against them or a loved one. Feel free to contact us on our 24/7 defense line at 1-800-342-7896. You can also contact us online or come visit us at one of our three statewide locations. We can also come to you.