ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Many throughout the community are echoing that Rochester Police Officer Denny Wright was served justice. On Wednesday, a Monroe County jury convicted Keith Williams on all four counts in relation to the attack on Officer Wright back in 2019. Much of the trial was centered around body-worn camera footage that aided the investigation and in turn, the jury’s decision.
Williams being found guilty on all counts in the attempted murder trial is something the district attorney and police union president said was the outcome they were hoping for.
Attempted aggravated murder of a police officer, attempted murder, assault, and aggravated assault. Those are all four counts that Keith Williams was found guilty of in relation to the attack on Rochester Police Officer Denny Wright.
President of the Locust Club, Rochester’s Police Union, Mike Mazzeo said this verdict was a long time coming.
“Denny has probably been the most inspiring person that I’ve ever known in my life. And his handling of that situation, right up till today has been remarkable,” Mazzeo said. “A lot of us felt that was a just verdict, but it was a long process to get to. So, there’s a relief. Another part of this nightmare is behind us.”
Back on that day in October of 2019, Officer Wright was attempting to remove Williams from the residence as requested by his family. During the encounter, Williams stabbed Wright in the face, ultimately blinding him permanently. Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley said that moment being captured was pivotal for the jury’s decision.
“One of the things that I had said to potential jurors was, you know, are you going to be able to watch and, and carefully pay attention and discern what’s going on in these videos, because you’re going to see the crime take place in real-time. And I think that was really important. I mean, this is the new generation of trying cases,” Doorley said. “It’s corroborated evidence that really solidifies what exactly happened. And, the jury is ultimately the determination of the facts of the case. And they were able to determine what the facts were by, by reviewing it, seeing for themselves in determining what exactly happened.”
Mazzeo said body-worn camera footage is useful in situations like this, but it’s not everything.
“You can’t just look at a video and then make an opinion of what took place or what happened. You have to take the totality of everything. And even in parts of this video. There are parts that you do not see what’s going on because the cameras are off or knocked off or not in the direction and dimensions and other factors,” Mazzeo said. “When people come up quickly and say we saw a video and we know what took place. That’s not accurate. Videos are important. They do provide a lot of evidence and information. But they have to be analyzed and taken in the totality of everything else as well.”
Doorley said the video corroborated all the testimonies put forth in court, saying being able to see and hear what went on that day was crucial to Officer Wright finding justice.
“There wasn’t going to be any guess any speculation. They could see what happened. And they were given the ability to interpret it as a trier of fact. And they did,” Doorley said.
Keith Williams is being held without bail until sentencing which will take place on June 8.
After the trial concluded, Officer Wright said having this incident that changed his life nearly three years finally behind him will relieve a lot of his stress.