Group Cries Foul over Teen's Charges

Meridian, Miss. A civil rights group based in Memphis has taken up the case of a Meridian 13-year-old charged as an adult.

A representative from Operation Help Civil Rights spoke in Meridian Wednesday about the case against 13-year old Antonio Williams.

Vickie Wilkerson, along with Williams, his mother, and aunt told Newscenter 11 said the organization has hired an attorney for the teenager and will be filing a lawsuit against the city and county.

Williams is charged, along with 18-year-old Robert Reed, in the armed robbery and shooting of a store owner at Meridian's Acme Plaza in March 2013.

Wilkerson says there is no evidence Williams was present at the scene of the crime, and she says he was denied an attorney.

Wilkerson also alleges an officer assaulted Williams. She says his case should be in youth court.

"We're talking about a 13-year-old child that has a reading level of a 4th grader, who does not even know at this point what he signed," said Wilkerson. "And signing your life away because you cannot read is wrong."

Meridian police declined to comment on the case Wednesday.

But at the time of Williams' arrest, police said the teen was charged as an adult because a firearm was used in the commission of the crime.

Newscenter 11 also attempted to contact the teen's attorney, who was unavailable.

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