Originally created 06/18/97

Williams clams up on Lumpkin case



The state's star witness against an Augusta attorney facing capital murder charges vowed Tuesday to develop a severe case of amnesia.

"I could care less if you convict Bill Lumpkin," Augustus Williams said Tuesday after a judge revoked his probation. I'm perfectly willing to do my five years. (But) I'm going to try to get the worst case of amnesia I can get."

Mr. Williams, 47, is expected to be the prosecutor's star witness in the capital trial of a prominent Augusta attorney, William Lumpkin, who is accused of killing real estate agent Stan White, 64, who held the deed on Mr. Lumpkin's Evans home.

The body of the Martinez real estate agent was found in the Savannah River near Allendale, S.C., three days after he disappeared on Labor Day 1996, Sept. 2. Mr. Williams told investigators that Mr. Lumpkin lured Mr. White to his downtown Augusta law office to kill him, and that he helped Mr. Lumpkin load the wrapped body into the back of Mr. Lumpkin's vehicle.

"In the first time in my life I tried to do what's right," Mr. Williams said Tuesday about talking to investigators about what happened Sept. 2. And in exchange for cooperating against Mr. Lumpkin - "my very best friend in the whole world" - Mr. Williams said he's been abused, used as a pawn, jailed and threatened with death.

Superior Court Judge Bernard Mulherin Sr. revoked Mr. Williams' probation Tuesday at a probation officer's request. Mr. Williams violated his probation by leaving Richmond County and getting arrested and charged on new criminal charges in North Augusta - forgery, possession of stolen property and driving on a suspended license. He's been held in the Aiken County Jail since his Feb. 22 arrest.

In November, Judge Mulherin placed Mr. Williams on probation after Mr. Williams pleaded guilty to hindering the apprehension of a criminal and theft. The plea agreement called for a five-year probation sentence which Judge Mulherin accept. The charges stemmed from Mr. Williams' own statement that he helped Mr. Lumpkin load Mr. White's body in to the car and assisted with the stashing of Mr. White's car in Evans.

No one cares about his stability after such a traumatic experience, Mr. Williams complained Tuesday. Court officials just want to make themselves look better in media reports.

"He's still playing games with them," said Mr. Lumpkin's attorney, Terry Jackson, commented after attending Tuesday's hearing. District Attorney Danny Craig only response was that he's been accused of getting amnesia, too.