A former Greenmount community leader accused of fatally stabbing his estranged wife outside a Baltimore courthouse — shortly after she had secured a protective order — has been determined by a medical facility to be competent to stand trial, according to prosecutors.
That finding was briefly mentioned in Baltimore City Circuit Court today, as the trial of Cleaven Williams Jr. was scheduled to begin. The finding still must be officially confirmed by the court.
After the brief court proceeding today, Williams' trial was postponed. Defense attorneys said they were not prepared for the two-week trial that prosecutors anticipate.
Police say Williams Jr., 33, of the 900 block of E. North Ave. repeatedly stabbed his wife on Nov. 17, 2008 outside the Eastside Courthouse. An off-duty officer said he saw the attack, stopped to help her and shot Cleaven in an attempt to end the assault.
Veronica Williams died three days later at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
As president of the Greater Greenmount Community Association, Cleaven Williams was known by police leaders and patrol officers as "C.J." and helped to organize a community anti-violence walk. But he has a history of domestic violence involving his wife, dating from when the couple lived in Frederick.
Williams was wanted on a domestic violence warrant at the time of the stabbing, but police did not follow normal procedures in attempting to serve it. A deputy major was suspended after failing to disclose a series of text messages between him and Williams.
The stabbing happened a day before the surrender date related to the warrant. Shortly before she was attacked, Veronica Williams had received a protective order against her husband from a district court judge.