Prude Death Investigation

Man charged in stabbing of RPD officer Denny Wright deemed competent to stand trial

Crime

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Keith Williams, the man charged in the stabbing of Rochester police officer Denny Wright, was found to be competent to stand trial Wednesday.

Williams is scheduled to return to court October 5, and no trial date has been set yet.

Before the coronavirus pandemic arrived in Monroe County in early March, a judge heard evidence from doctors and psychiatrists regarding Williams’ potential competency for trial. The competency hearings were scheduled to resume on March 20 with a final doctor from the defense side, but was ultimately postponed due to COVID-19.

In November, Williams pleaded not guilty to attempted aggravated murder and aggravated assault of a police officer. He is currently being held without bail.

The 28-year-old Rochester man is accused of attacking Officer Wright during an October 4 incident on Peck Street in Rochester.

During the attack, Officer Wright suffered severe injuries, which caused him to lose his sight. He underwent surgery on the day of the attack and spent the next three weeks receiving treatment at local medical facilities.

In an interview with News 8’s Adam Chodak earlier this year, Officer Wright spoke about the challenges of overcoming the injuries and what’s next for himself and his family.

“I’ve been doing exceptional considering the circumstance that I’m currently in, it’s a big learning curve to all-of-the-sudden-loss of eyesight, but it is a doable situation and I’m moving forward and learning every day,” Wright said during the interview last month.

This is not Williams’ first run in with local law enforcement as he was in and out of court rooms many times throughout 2019.

Earlier this month, Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley, who is prosecuting this case, said she has the evidence for conviction. 

“This is a very tragic incident and we have to have it play out in the court,” Doorley said on February 5. “There is evidence that will come out. I anticipate that we will be able to show and prove that Mr. Williams is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

MORE | Rap sheet: Man accused of stabbing RPD officer is no stranger to police

Wright is a 20-plus year veteran of the force and is well respected for his community outreach, which includes dancing with Rochester City School District students in his wife’s classroom. Wright’s wife, Sonia Lagares-Wright, is an RCSD teacher who won a Golden Apple award in 2017.

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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