NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — It was a scary start to the day as the DA Jason Williams and law partner Nicole Burdett’s tax fraud trial entered day four following death threats targeting Williams, according to Louisiana State Police.
District Attorney Jason Williams was present in court on Thursday, despite receiving a death threat just hours prior. During a court recess, Williams told WGNO Reporter Kenny Lopez that for his safety, he was wearing a bulletproof vest. Williams also entered the courthouse through a private entrance on Thursday, rather than the front entrance he had been using all week.
According to the LSP, the department’s Fusion Center discovered an online post that contained a threat against Williams’s life. State Police then alerted the New Orleans Police Department, and they are now working together to address the threat.
In a statement from the NOPD, it was confirmed that additional enforcement agencies are also assisting with the investigation.
Previous coverage: The Jason Williams Trial
- DAY 1: DA Jason Williams appears in court for tax fraud charges, jury selection underway
- DAY 2: Opening statements begin, jury selection wraps up in trial against Jason Williams
- DAY 3: Tax preparer and key witness Henry Timothy testifies in DA Jason Williams trial
“The Louisiana State Police and our federal partners are actively investigating this issue. The District Attorney’s security team is aware of the situation. Safety concerns are being addressed as a priority by the US Marshal Service and Federal Court officers.”
As for what happened in the courtroom, the entire morning was spent on cross-examination of tax preparer Henry Timothy, a key witness in the case. Timothy prepared Williams’ and Burdett’s taxes from 2010 to 2017.
Defense attorneys worked to prove that Timothy fooled Williams and Burdett into thinking he was a licensed CPA and that he was trustworthy. On the stand, however, Timothy admitted to lying to his clients and to a federal agent.
The defense believes that Timothy is cooperating with the government to receive a lighter sentence after pleading guilty to underreporting his own taxes in 2021.
Most of the afternoon was spent hearing testimony from John Voeker, a former legal administrator for Williams’ law office. The prosecution asked him questions about how money was handled at the firm, including cash. Voeker testified that Timothy did his taxes after a recommendation from Burdett, but it was later revealed to him by an FBI agent that his taxes were prepared incorrectly. Voeker told the court he trusted the tax preparer because Williams and Burdett did.
The trial, which is expected to take up to three weeks, continues on Friday at 8:30 a.m. There have been no reports of the trial being paused or postponed due to the threats against Williams.