Originally created 11/11/05

Prison doors close early for Williams



Former state Rep. Robin Williams lost a few final days of freedom Thursday.

U.S. District Magistrate Judge W. Leon Barfield revoked a $25,000 unsecured bond for Mr. Williams that he had set in June 2004.

Judge Barfield ruled after hearing a Columbia County sheriff's investigator allege that Mr. Williams, 39, withdrew $200 from a bank account he no longer had legal access to and then tried to deposit a bad check last month.

"He was basically check kiting," Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Johnson told the judge.

Defense attorney John "Jack" Long said it was a misunderstanding, because Mr. Williams didn't know his name had been taken off the bank account.

Mr. Long argued it would be cheaper to allow Mr. Williams to report to prison on his own rather than have federal marshals escort him from the McDuffie County jail to the Federal Corrections Institute in Estill, S.C.

Mr. Williams was originally supposed to turn himself in at the prison Monday to serve the 10-year sentence he received in September.

Mr. Williams and four cohorts were convicted this spring of looting the former Community Mental Health Center of East Central Georgia.

Two of the companies Mr. Williams used to scam the mental health center figured into the new charges, Investigator Ron VanVactor testified.

On Oct. 25, Mr. Williams withdrew $200 from the Wachovia Bank account of Insurance Coverage Consultants, the officer testified. Two days later, he tried to deposit a $1,000 check from the account of International Consultants Corp. into the insurance company's account. The $1,000 check would have bounced if cashed, Investigator VanVactor testified.

Judge Barfield ruled there was probable cause to believe Mr. Williams committed a new crime and revoked his bond.

Mr. Williams' co-defendants will remain free on bond until they report for prison.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.