Next month, nearly a year after he was arrested and accused of menacing a police officer, Bill Thomas will find out when his jury trial on the two felony charges against him begins.
Thomas withdrew his prior guilty plea to a count of criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, today. He was also charged with menacing a police officer, a Class D violent felony.
He was arrested March 16. He will next appear in court on March 13.
In the intervening months, he's been through three attorneys, was about to start a jury trial but then entered a guilty plea on the day the trial was supposed to start, then at his first sentencing date, tried to withdraw his plea. That wasn't allowed and then again, last week, appeared for sentencing only to learn from Judge Michael Mohun that there was a procedural error by the court when his guilty plea was accepted.
Thomas was given time to confer with his attorney, his family and think over his options, which included withdrawing his plea and taking his case to a jury or sticking with his guilty plea and accepting whatever sentence Mohun might impose.
This afternoon, Mohun granted Thomas his request to withdraw his prior guilty plea.
Attorney Jamie Welch said he doesn't discuss ongoing cases and declined to say why Thomas decided to withdraw his plea.
One salient fact that came out last week at the sentencing hearing, before Mohun put a stop to it, was that even though Officer Peter Flanigan said he was threatened by Thomas while Thomas was holding a knife, there was no knife recovered on or near Thomas after he was arrested.
Four hours after the confrontation, Thomas was found to have a BAC of .22 and said he had few memories of events that early morning on State Street, but maintained he wouldn't have threatened a police officer, according to statements Welch made in court last week.