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Griffith calls for Veterans Treatment Docket

To the public,

Today in Pulaski County Circuit Court, Kenneth Roy Williams, was convicted of multiple crimes stemming from an incident that occurred in the Pulaski County portion of Interstate-81. The Virginia State Police while attempting to conduct a traffic stop based on information provided to them via a concerned member of Mr. Williams own family, were eventually able to stop the vehicle Mr. Williams was driving. It was immediately apparent to them through their training and experience that Mr. Williams was not mentally well. The Troopers, some of whom are veterans themselves, after learning that Mr. Williams was an honorably discharged Desert Storm veteran were able to relate with him in a manner that allowed for him to be safely transported to the Magistrate’s Office. This is a specific example of law enforcement in Pulaski County is doing an outstanding job of enforcing the law but also conducting themselves in a manner that was safe for everyone. This is especially commendable considering the fact that Mr. Williams had struck a marked Virginia State Police vehicle with his vehicle before he was stopped.

After Mr. Williams was served with multiple warrants, the Pulaski County General District Court appropriately ordered a mental health evaluation be conducted. Mr. Williams after being deemed not competent to stand trial was then ordered to undergo restoration services in an attempt to be mentally fit to stand trial. Mental Health workers from our community, worked diligently to attempt to restore Mr. Williams to competency. He was able to be restored and his charges were certified to the October 12th, Pulaski County Grand Jury. It was important to James Crandall, a Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney, to schedule a plea date for Mr. Williams as soon as possible.

Mr. Crandall met with numerous members of the Virginia State Police and they were all understanding of Mr. William’s mental health situation, which very apparently related to his time in the service. Mr. Crandall did an outstanding job of forging a path to justice that took into account the actions of Mr. Williams, his mental health related to his service to our country, and Mr. William’s efforts to be restored.

This case is a reminder of just how many veterans struggle to reintegrate out of the service and there is no set time line for when their struggles may lead them down this path. I see a need to have a Veterans Treatment Docket in Southwest Virginia because, in conjunction with other agencies, it could make a real difference in ensuring other veterans like Mr. Williams can receive specialized services, and individualized treatment plans. As our Office firmly believes they have earned that right and so much more. Serving your country is one of the greatest honors a person can have. We owe them everything we can do.

Thank you,

Justin L. Griffith

Commonwealth’s Attorney Pulaski County

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