Former Lawrence police officer enters into diversion agreement for misconduct charges
photo by: Douglas County Sheriff's Office
A former Lawrence police officer signed a diversion agreement on Monday to resolve charges he faced after using police computers to spy on a woman with whom he was in a child custody dispute.
David Shane Williams, 35, of De Soto, is charged in Douglas County District Court with one felony count of unlawful acts with a computer and one misdemeanor count of official misconduct of an officer. His diversion period will last 12 months, and he is ordered to pay all court costs and fees, according to court records.
A diversion is a process whereby someone accused of a crime is “diverted” from the usual legal procedures and instead completes the terms of an agreement, which may include some sort of rehabilitation program or fine. If the program is successfully completed, the criminal charges could be dropped.
In the agreement, Williams agreed to the factual basis of the charges that in March and April of 2019, when he was an officer, he used his personal computer multiple times to access the police database to get information for his own private benefit to cause harm to a person with whom he was in a child custody dispute.
As previously reported by the Journal-World, Williams was placed on paid administrative leave from the Lawrence Police Department on Nov. 21, 2019, and he resigned three weeks later.
Williams rejected a diversion offer in July 2020 to resolve the charges and requested a jury trial. The trial was eventually scheduled for September 2021 after Williams’ defense attorney, Michael Riling, requested a series of continuances. But on Sept. 13, 2021 — three days before the trial was scheduled to start — the case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning it could be refiled. Prosecutors said they were requesting the dismissal “out of necessity.” Williams’ case was then refiled in January of this year, with the new charge of felony unlawful acts with a computer added on, and he was arrested in March on suspicion of the new charges, according to court records.
Williams has been free on a $3,000 own-recognizance bond since his arrest on March 3.