Contempt of court ruling extends man’s prison sentence

 

DOVER — A witness called during a 2011 bank robbery trial last month received six months added to his prison sentence after a contempt of court ruling on Thursday morning.

William Sells was ordered in contempt on Nov. 14, 2016, after a tense exchange with a prosecutor during the case of alleged accomplice Russell M. Grimes regarding an incident at the First National Bank of Wyoming in Felton on Aug. 26, 2011.

William S. Sells III

Mr. Sells said little during questioning by Deputy Attorney General Susan Schmidhauser at the trial and was intermittently silent, which drew a warning from Kent County Superior Court Judge Robert B. Young to cooperate more fully.

On Thursday morning, Mr. Sells appeared before Judge Young began with, “I want to apologize to you. It wasn’t meant to be disrespectful to you or the court.”

Mr. Sells maintained his limited responses were designed to avoid jeopardizing his position in a case against him that’s returning to trial. He is contesting a guilty plea to a count in the matter and has filed an appeal.

Judge Young found that explanation “difficult to understand” ordered the added prison time. The Court found that Mr. Sells earlier “refused to testify in any meaningful sense.”

Attorneys Andre’ Beauregard and Adam Windett, who represented Mr. Sells earlier, were called to the hearing and told Judge Young they believed they were no longer his defense counsel.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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