Couple to be tried on child abuse case |

Couple to be tried on child abuse case

by F.T. Norton

A Carson City judge determined Monday that Robert and Linda Williams should be tried on charges of child abuse or neglect in the alleged mistreatment of their young sons.

Judge Robey Willis’ ruling came at the end of a preliminary hearing that began Friday and ended after the testimony of an investigator Monday.

The Williamses are accused of locking their 5- and 3-year-old sons in their room for extended periods.

When officers found the children on Oct. 3, one had two black eyes, while the younger child had a large abrasion on his face.

Detective Daniel Gonzales testified Monday that Linda Williams said the abrasion came after she scrubbed Wite-Out from the the child’s face for “45 minutes” with a washcloth and soap.

Willis also approved a reduction of bail from $100,000 to $25,000, despite Assistant District Attorney Gerald Gardner’s objection based on a psychologist’s report that the boys are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

In arguing successfully for a reduction of bail, Chief Trial Public Defender Noel Waters pointed out holes in the state’s case.

He said the initial arrest report indicated there were no toys in or around the home, when evidence photos clearly show toys in the children’s room and the backyard is full of playground equipment.

“It’s melodrama, it’s hyperbole, it’s basically hysteria on behalf of the state,” said Waters. “This $100,000 (bail) is in the category of a hatchet murderer.”

While Willis disagreed with Water’s assertion that the bail matched that of a killer, he did agree that it was high for the couple whose only income was what Linda Williams made as a nursing assistant.

The couple will next appear in District Court on Nov. 24.