Perjurer describes his effort to clear suspect in drug case

December 13, 1990|By M. Dion Thompson

An admitted perjurer testified yesterday in U.S. District Court that he met with a Baltimore lawyer on three separate occasions and rehearsed perjured testimony that led to reputed drug lord Linwood "Rudi" Williams being acquitted in a state drug case.

Donald "Frog" Nelson, a key witness in the government's case against Mr. Williams and his alleged co-conspirators, said the rehearsals were part of a well-orchestrated scheme to clear Mr. Williams of a 1988 drug charge.

Mr. Williams, currently on trial for allegedly operating a major heroin distribution ring, was acquitted of the heroin charge after Nelson testified. Nelson was then charged with perjury and pleaded guilty. He had testified at two separate Baltimore Circuit Court trials that he, and not Mr. Williams, had been the passenger in a car which police stopped and from which they recovered $78,000 worth of heroin.

Yesterday Nelson said he, Mr. Williams and Mr. Williams' nephew, Namond Williams, met with defense attorney William Monfried to rehearse the perjured testimony. He said one of the meetings occurred at a downtown office, while the other two meetings occurred at Mr. Monfried's office on Harford Road.

"We went over the verbal part of the plan, what was said in the car, what Monfried planned to ask at trial," said Nelson, who has agreed to testify against Mr. Williams in exchange for the government dropping other pending charges against him. "It was Rudi's show. He would basically instruct Monfried on what questions to ask."

When asked about Nelson's allegations, Mr. Monfried said: "It's inappropriate for me to comment as to what a witness said and it's inappropriate for me to comment as to what I might say because I might be a witness."

Mr. Monfried has represented Mr. Williams in several trials, all of which ended with Mr. Williams being acquitted.

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