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Ex-Houston 911 operator guilty of hanging up thousands of callers

HOUSTON – A former 911 operator in Houston has been found guilty of hanging people who ask for emergency services. Jurors found Wednesday that Crenshanda Williams, 44, is guilty of interference with emergency phone calls, a misdemeanor.

She was sentenced to 10 days in jail and 18 months of probation.

Prosecutors from the Harris County District Attorney's office said that she worked as a 911 operator for a year and a half, until 2016. Records showed that thousands of calls that lasted less than 20 seconds were attributed to her suspension. She was fired after a supervisor noticed the unusual number of "short calls," reports KHOU, a CBS affiliate.

Calls varied from reports of robberies and homicides to reports of vehicles that accelerated.

Prosecutors said Williams betrayed the trust of the community. [19659002] "The citizens of Harris County rely on 911 operators to send help in their time of need," said Lauren Reeder, a Harris County prosecutor, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Williams told investigators that he often hung up because he did not. I do not want to talk to anyone at that time.

According to the Chronicle, Williams' lawyer, Franklin Bynum, said the case revealed "systematic" problems at the Houston Emergency Center, including problems with the call-picking system. He also reportedly disagreed with the statute used to indict Williams and said he would appeal.

"I was going through a difficult time in my life and I was a deficient worker at the Houston Emergency Center," she said. "But punishing her does nothing to solve the problems that still exist in the emergency center."

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. This material can not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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