Fayette County Attorney's Office rests case against Sarah Williams

Posted at 9:39 PM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 21:39:50-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Fayette County Attorney's Office has rested its case against a local activist charged with five misdemeanor counts stemming from the racial justice protests in June 2020.

Sarah Williams is on trial for charges that include inciting a riot, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct.

On the second day of the trial, Fayette County Attorney Larry Roberts continued to call witnesses to testify against Williams. The witnesses included officers with the Lexington Police Department, as well as a prosecutor in his office.

The trial has featured several moments that elicited chuckles and groans from the gallery.

On at least two occasions, Roberts invoked the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, which he said was six months before the protests in Lexington. The riot was actually six months after the protests. Roberts and Williams' defense attorney, Daniel Whitley, also asked Judge John Tackett on many occasions to approach the bench for brief conferences.

While conceding that Williams never acted in a violent manner during the protests, Roberts contended that Williams and her sister, April Taylor, antagonized police officers and encouraged protesters to defy police orders.

"Inciting a riot doesn't have to be violent," LPD Sgt. Gary Thurman testified.

After Roberts rested his case, Whitley indicated he does not plan to call witnesses for the defense. When LEX 18 asked Whitley about this decision, he suggested that he was able to make his argument through cross-examinations of the prosecution's witnesses.

Closing arguments will begin Wednesday.