ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Keith Williams, the man accused of stabbing a Rochester police officer multiple times, is charged with attempted aggravated murder and aggravated assault of police officer Dennison “Denny” Wright — but it’s far from his first run-in with the law this year.
Prior to the October 4 incident, Williams was well known to police officers in the Rochester area.
The following information was shared Wednesday by the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office in an effort to clarify the facts regarding William’s custody status.
January 24, 2019: Williams was convicted of criminal contempt in the second degree for an incident on Sept. 30, 2018. He spent approximately 77 days in custody and on March 21 was sentenced to three years of probation.
June 1, 2019: Williams was arrested for assault in the second degree, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and one count of criminal weapon in the third degree for an incident on May 30.
That same day, Williams was also charged with a misdemeanor for menacing in the second degree, from an incident on June 1.
Williams was also arraigned on a violation of probation for the three years probation period from the January 24 conviction.
June 3, 2019: Williams was arraigned in front of Judge Teresa Johnson for menacing in the second degree on June 1.
He was not held on that charge, but only on the violation of probation and new felony charges.
On both June 6, 2019 and July 1, 2019 Williams failed to appear before the Grand Jury.
July 17, 2019: Judge Stephen T. Miller sentenced Williams to eight months in the Monroe County Jail on the violation of probation. At that point, the defendant had served over three months in the Monroe County Jail for which he received credit by law.
July 29, 2019: Williams was released after serving the maximum amount of time by law for his eight month sentence because he was given credit for his time previously served.
That time included:
- Sept. 29-30, 2018
- October 1, 2018 – January 24, 2019
- May 10-11, 2019
- June 1-July 16, 2019
The June 1, menacing in the second degree case is set for trial on October 24 with Judge Teresa Johnson.
Williams is currently being held without bail and his next court date is Friday, October 11 at 10:30 a.m.
Officer Denny Wright remains hospitalized. Williams is accused of repeatedly stabbing the longtime Rochester officer in the face, left eye, and lower body. A grand jury could lobby more charges against Williams.
“When a person attempts to kill a police officer who is working in the line of his official duty, that’s aggravated murder. I believe the facts may show that this was an attempted aggravated murder,” said Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley.
Wright underwent surgery and has been recovering at Rochester General Hospital ever since. RPD deputy chief Mark Mura said bystanders helped when they saw the attack happening. That good Samaritan spoke to News 8 Monday about the intense moments leading up to and during the attack.
“He did not give up,” said Police Chief Singletary. “…and I told him, Denny I know you didn’t and I’m proud of the way he served his community and the way he protected himself throughout this ordeal but certainly he has a long road to recovery.”
In support of Officer Wright, the Greater Rochester International Airport, along with several downtown buildings, were lit up with the color blue. Officers on social media used the hashtag “#WrightByYourSide” in a show of support. Monroe County Executive said Monday that the airport’s canopy would remain lit in support of Officer Wright until he is discharged from the hospital.
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.