But in the end, after more than eight hours of deliberation, the jury felt it had enough to convict Williams on three of the five charges.
And with the slow reading of each guilty verdict, Williams’ once-promising basketball career at Oklahoma State received a sharp blow.
Before being formally charged on Feb. 7, 2011, Williams was playing the best basketball of his college career. In back-to-back Big 12 wins over Missouri and Oklahoma, the 6-foot-8, 245-pound forward had a combined 33 points and 25 rebounds.
After charges were filed, Ford didn’t allow Williams to play but let him remain on the team because he was convinced of Williams’ innocence.
Over the past year and a half, Ford has allowed Williams to practice and travel with the team, with many players saying Williams was the best player on the practice court at times.
In the classroom, Williams, who played high school ball at Chicago Dunbar, continued to excel, making the Big 12 All-Academic team. He was expected to graduate in the next calendar year, with a limited number of units remaining.
Instead, his academic future and basketball livelihood have been put on hold, resulting from an incident that took place more than a year and a half ago and culminating in a 14-day trial that ended late Monday night.