A Garden City woman accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill her estranged husband was ensconced at her parents' Franklin Square home Friday evening after being released on bond from the Nassau County jail.
Susan Williams, 43, looking stoic in a tan coat and corduroys, said nothing as she emerged about 2:30 p.m. from the jail in East Meadow, where she had been held since shortly after her arrest on the evening of March 4.
Her defense attorney, John Carman of Garden City, made a brief statement on her behalf.
"She's obviously ecstatic to be at liberty today. She looks forward to being at home to see her children," Carman said of the mother of four. "The fact that she's being released, though, does give her a meaningful opportunity to work with me in her defense."
Shortly after leaving the jail with Carman, Williams arrived at her parents' home, riding in the backseat of their car. The family went inside without comment and drew the shades.
Williams' divorce lawyer, Jeffrey Pam of East Meadow, said that under the current custody agreement, she should be allowed supervised visitation with her two younger children, ages 11 and 16, at her parents' home. No arrangements have been made yet, Pam said.
Prosecutors say Susan Williams last month asked an acquaintance to refer her to a hit man to kill her husband. Instead, the acquaintance put her in touch with an undercover police officer, who videotaped Williams as she paid him a $500 deposit on the $20,000 job, prosecutors said.
Williams has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree criminal solicitation and second-degree conspiracy. If convicted, she could face a maximum of 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison.
Since her arrest, lawyers in the case have argued over her bail amount, with prosecutors asking that it remain at $1 million bond or $500,000 cash bail, and Carman fighting to have it lowered to $500,000 bond - an amount he said was at the outer limits of what her parents were able to raise.
Thursday, Carman took his case to an appellate court in Brooklyn, and a four-judge panel agreed to lower Williams' bond to $500,000.
The appeals panel granted Carman's appeal even after prosecutors disclosed several new details about their case - including the allegation that in the months before her arrest, Williams did Google searches on at least two women who had evaded police after killing their ex-husbands.
Prosecutors also said in legal papers that Susan Williams fraudulently changed her husband's life insurance policy shortly before her arrest.
The next court date scheduled in the case is Wednesday.
With Erik Badia