CORPUS CHRISTI – A very different Judge Guy Williams was back in his chambers at the 148th District Court on Wednesday.
Williams recently finished six weeks of treatment for post traumatic stress disorder at Warrior’s Heart in Bandera, a facility specifically for veterans.
The judge, who won a Purple Heart during the Vietnam War, says he’s battled PTSD since his discharge from the Marine Corps in 1970.
“As soon as I got out the hyper-vigilance was there, the exaggerated startle response, the depression, the anxiety,” Williams said. “Nightmares, lack of sleep.”
PTSD continued plaguing Williams during his career with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. He said he hid the problem from co-workers by working 80 hours a week.
“I never got treatment, because I knew once I got treatment somebody would get the medical records and my career would be gone,” said Williams.
Williams’ problem got worse after a 2015 heart attack. That’s when he says he started drinking to cope with his slow, painful rehabilitation.
“After the heart attack it just magnified everything, and the sense of helplessness,” said Williams. “I was unable to defend myself and I felt helpless.”
To fight those feelings, Williams bought a gun for every room of his house. He also carried as many as three in his car.
Those weapons in his car were at the center of Williams’ trial earlier this year for aggravated assault. The charges were related to an alleged road rage incident here he as accused of pointing a gun at a couple in another car. He was acquitted on one count. The other was declared a mistrial and later dismissed.
Those charges also led to Judge Williams being suspended from his 148th District Court Seat. That suspension has since been lifted.
So where does that leave his career on the bench?
Judge Williams says he’d like to come back before his term is up in December. Once his term expires, Williams says he’d like to serve as a visiting judge.
To read Judge Williams’ full statement, click here.