New Orleans prosecutor on trial gets death threat

July 21, 2022 GMT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Authorities are investigating an online death threat made against the New Orleans district attorney as his federal tax trial continues.

U.S. District Judge Lance Africk said in court Thursday that there was “a potential security threat” involving District Attorney Jason Williams, New Orleans news outlets reported.

Williams did not use the court’s public entrance for the fourth day of his trial.

State police confirmed the threat. Africk said he was allowing Williams to use a side entrance on the recommendation of federal marshals.

Jurors continued hearing Thursday from tax preparer Henry Timothy, who is cooperating with prosecutors and has pleaded guilty to a single tax charge.

Prosecutors say Williams and Nicole Burdett, who was an attorney in Williams’ law practice, pressured Timothy to fraudulently reduce Williams’ tax liability over a five-year period. Defense lawyers say the two were victims of Timothy.

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Williams has argued that he was singled out for prosecution for political reasons.

Williams was president of the New Orleans City Council when he was indicted in June 2020. Despite the charges, he won the district attorney’s race that December with support from criminal justice reform advocates.

Williams was a frequent critic of the hardball tactics of the man he replaced, Leon Cannizzaro, who did not seek reelection.