MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Daisy Mae Williams says she’s scared. The 80-year-old says Monday is the worst day of her life. Then she was ordered to report. Her lawyer says jail is unnecessary for a person her age, condition, and the fact that she has no previous arrests.
“You’re going to jail?” we asked them.
“I try to stay calm and keep it together,” says Williams. “I’m excited to get through. There is nothing I can do about it right now. “
She spent 35 years as a Miami Dade school teacher and is currently a minister, but on Monday morning the senior will be an inmate.
“Never been arrested?” we asked.
“Never,” she says.
“Never been to jail before?”
“Never,” she says. “I have always tried to live within the law and raise my five children and 22 great-grandmothers, and I have always tried to teach them to live within the law and not be against the law.”
Not so say Florida Department of Financial Services investigators.
On Monday, Williams was charged with insurance fraud and ordered by the Miami-Dade District Attorney’s office to report.
According to a complaint, Williams filed a sham lawsuit with Citizens Property Insurance Corporation in 2017 alleging that the lightning that struck their home during Hurricane Irma damaged their roof and plumbing. The complaint states that she knew it was not true and that many of the receipts submitted had been changed – the dates were changed.
“Have any documents been changed?” we asked.
“That’s what they say,” says Williams, “but I don’t know.”
“You have no idea?”
We asked her if she filed the lawsuit herself or if someone filed it on her behalf. “I filed the lawsuit,” she says.
Today is not about guilt or innocence. Williams is not a flight risk. She is not charged with a violent crime.
“In my 38 years as a lawyer, I’ve never seen this prosecutor being as heartless and cruel and incomprehensible as they are in this particular case,” said Jonathan Schwartz, Williams attorney.
He says the prosecutor can write a subpoena in court and she will be there.
Williams walks a walker, has shortness of breath from COVID-19, and is dependent on insulin.
“In the end, there was a lot of email, but after thinking about it for a long time, they decided they weren’t going to make any particular exception,” says Schwartz.
In a statement to Local 10 News, a spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade Attorney’s Office Katherine Fernandez Rundle said:
“MS. Williams is not in custody and we are in the process of reviewing all evidence in this case. Therefore, any final decision, including pre-trial intervention, is premature at this point. We made sure it surrendered and will not be arrested, and we have also agreed that she may be released at our own discretion. “
Williams tells us, “I didn’t sleep very well last night.”
“You’re just going to make yourself up?”
“I’ll do exactly what my lawyer says,” says Williams.
Her attorney says, “We look forward to a call from an appropriate prosecutor to see if there is anything other than her first arrest and search on Monday.”
But no one is sure that the call will come.
Williams says she’s looking forward to her day in court to prove her innocence. And says that every money she got was used to repair her roof and pipes.
“This is one of those situations where I think I would consider this what the 8th Amendment to the Constitution calls” cruel and unusual punishment, “” says Schwartz.
Local 10 News will be there Monday morning when Williams signs up himself.
Copyright 2021 by WPLG Local10.com – All rights reserved.