Defendant Requests Motion to Compel Discovery from Prosecution – Judge Refuses, Cuts Him Off

By Anna Zheng 


SACRAMENTO, CA – Kirk Douglas Williams late last week demanded discovery from the prosecution – he said he didn’t even have a police report and just wanted to “level the playing field” – but the judge denied his request, and then interrupted him to end the discussion here in Sacramento County Superior Court.


Instead of compelling discovery, Judge Patrick Marlette scheduled a preliminary hearing for Williams, who is facing two felony counts related to assault with a deadly weapon.  He appears to be representing himself in the case.


The defendant stated that Deputy District Attorney Sterling Wilkins intentionally did not answer his request for discovery. Wilkins informed the court that he had just received the request, and complained it was “hand-written and I was just made aware of it yesterday by the court clerk.” 


“So obviously, since I just received it I don’t have the request for discovery. But I would like to state that I have been made aware of his request for discovery. I will be requesting those items and providing them to our court coordinator who will provide them to Mr. Williams in accordance to jail procedures,” Wilkins explained.


The defendant disputed Wilkins’ statement in regard to the request’s received date. “Your honor, I specifically dispute that fact because it has been stamped for the 30th [of July since] the district attorney received it.”


“And as you know, we are approaching at 15 days and I would like it to be set because I believe that he’s been intentionally not complying with discovery of procedure pursuant to 1054. So I would like the date to be tentatively set for a motion to compel discovery,” Williams said.  


Judge Marlette then asked DDA Wilkins if there had been any previous requests for informal discovery.


“I don’t know. This case wasn’t assigned to me until about a week ago. I do understand and I do agree that there was some sort of mail stamp on the discovery request that I received,” Wilkins responded. 


Although there was a mail stamp that read, “received by the office by August 3, 2021,” Wilkins informed the court that, “in terms of it actually getting to me, the attorney handling the case, I didn’t get it until yesterday.”


Judge Marlette then informed the defendant, “Williams has indicated he has your request and will have them delivered to you so I don’t really have a basis to make any kind of an adverse order. If it turns out you do not get that then let us know and I will certainly hear a motion to compel, but not until there is an indication that they are not complying.”


The defendant continued to push for a motion to compel and stated why he urgently needed the materials. “I understand your honor, however… What it is your honor… is that I need to prepare and negate those elements of the charges against me,” he explained. 


“My request is…  is that he immediately give me some form of discovery now. I don’t even… have the police report,” Williams stated. 


Judge Marlette understood the defendant’s concerns, however, he was not going to order Wilkins to give the defendant discovery now.


“[Wilkins] said that he is, per your request, going to get the material and he is going to get it to you. I’ll order him to get it to you in a reasonable time. But I can’t order him to get it to you now,” Judge Marlette explained.


The defendant questioned Judge’s Marlette’s definition of a “reasonable time” arguing that Wilkins had “well over 15 days” to provide him the material.


Judge Marlette stated that it was not within an unreasonable time frame, given that it had only been nine days since the request arrived at the office.


As Judge Marlette finished scheduling a date for a preliminary hearing, the defendant continued to request discovery now.


Both the defendant and Judge Marlette talked over one another. Before the court room’s zoom camera was cut, the defendant urged that he desperately wanted to “level the playing field. I’m actually innocent of the charges and [I want to be given] a fair and equal opportunity to…” 

About The Author

Anna Zheng is a fourth year at UC Davis from Sonoma, California. She is studying International Relations and Economics with the intent of pursuing a J.D. degree in the future. Ultimately, she hopes to pursue a career in consulting, finance, intellectual property or business immigration law.

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