Bail slashed for alleged drug dealer arrested after Tioga police shooting in August
Terrence Williams is accused of selling drugs from the rowhouse where six Philadelphia Police officers were shot.
Bail was significantly reduced Tuesday for a Tioga man who was arrested in August during a sweep following the shooting of six Philadelphia police officers in his neighborhood.
Terrence Williams, 33, was taken into custody Aug. 13, the day Maurice Hill, 36, allegedly opened fire on those officers as they served a warrant at a rowhouse on the 3700 block of North 15th Street. Williams’ original bail on drug and conspiracy charges — 10% of $500,000 — was lowered by Judge Gerard A. Kosinski to 10% of $25,000 after a brief hearing.
In an interview, Williams’ attorney, Amato T. Sanita, said the bail reduction was reasonable and appropriate. “This is a fair interpretation of the law and the current policies of the District Attorney’s Office,” Sanita said.
In court Tuesday, prosecutors argued that the higher bail was justified, as Williams was seen running on the rooftop of the rowhouse carrying a plastic bag. But Sanita countered that the bag was never recovered and its contents remain unknown.
Attorneys for three of Williams’ codefendants — Dwayne Turner, Ronald Ellis, and Raynell Rodgers — were unsuccessful in similar bids on Tuesday.
Sanita said that Williams has never failed to appear for a court proceeding, and that his criminal record shows “much more minor contacts” with police than the other defendants'. Court records show that Williams has been convicted of theft, fraud, child endangerment, and misdemeanor drug possession.
After Williams’ arrest, investigators described him and Ellis as alleged drug dealers hiding upstairs in the house on 15th Street as Hill allegedly fired an AR-15 at police outside. During the shootout, a police SWAT unit rescued Williams and Ellis, along with two officers trapped with them on the second floor, while Hill negotiated by phone with then-Commissioner Richard Ross, according to police.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 14 for Williams, Turner, Ellis, Rodgers, and two men arrested with them, Shafeeq Simon and Gregory Littlejohn.
Hill and another suspect, Jill Rich, also await preliminary hearings, although only Hill’s has been set, tentatively for Nov. 14, according to court records.
Charged with 11 counts of attempted murder, Hill faces a litany of other charges, including aggravated assault, assault of a law enforcement officer, and other drug and firearm possession offenses. District Attorney Larry Krasner has said that Hill could spend the rest of his life in prison.