NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)- A long-awaited trial is underway. District Attorney Jason Williams and his former law partner are before a judge right now.
Orleans District Attorney, Jason Williams finds himself on the opposite side of the courtroom this time. Williams is in court as the defendant, rather than the prosecutor.
At this point, the attorneys are working on the jury selection for this trial, which could be crucial to the fate of this case.
Walking up with confidence to the courthouse, Williams said told WGNO he is “feeling good and is ready to prove that he is innocent.” Accused of defrauding hundreds of thousands of dollars, Jason Williams has maintained his innocence and is hoping to clear his name.
Before the potential jurors were brought in, there was a hearing to make sure that there were no plea agreements from Williams or Nicole Burdett, who is Williams’ former law partner. Both noted that they rejected the offer of a plea deal.
Williams and Burdett are accused of defrauding the U.S. Treasury of more than $200,000 in owed taxes. According to the indictment, Williams and Burdett conspired to reduce his tax liability for five years, from 2013 to 2017– by classifying personal expenses as business expenses.
The pair are also charged with failing to report several large cash payments made by some of his firm’s clients.
If convicted, Williams could lose his license to practice law in Louisiana, forcing him out of office.
Right now, the potential jurors are being asked a series of questions that the attorneys will use to narrow down the pool. They are being asked questions like where are you from, what do you do, are you married, and an important one: who does your taxes—- turbo tax hr block, a private company, etc.
Throughout the day, the attorneys will take notes and eliminate jurors before going to trial. This process could take two days to finish before the official trial begins.