The sister of NBA superstar Kawhi Leonard will spend the rest of her life behind bars for brutally beating an 84-year-old woman to death after following her into a California casino bathroom and robbing the victim.
Superior Court Judge Timothy F. Freer on Friday sentenced 39-year-old Kimesha Monae Williams to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2019 murder of Afaf Assad, the Press-Enterprise reported.
Williams and another woman, Candace Tai Townsel, 42, were convicted in February by a Riverside County jury on charges of murder, robbery, and elder abuse in Assad’s slaying.
Freer, however, reportedly suspended the defendants’ sentences on the latter two charges, reasoning that all the crimes were part of the singular act of murdering Assad.
Assad and her 94-year-old husband were reportedly entering the Pechanga Resort Casino at about 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 31, 2019, just as Williams and Townsel were leaving. However, Williams and Townsel turned around after they saw Assad’s purse and began following the woman, authorities said.
The duo trailed her into a women’s restroom inside the casino, prosecutors said. One of the women acted as a lookout while the other ambushed Assad as she was getting out of a stall, stealing the purse while leaving the octogenarian behind with a broken skull and bleeding brain.
A witness reportedly found her in a neighboring stall and heard the commotion.
Assad was unconscious when the witness and a casino worker found her bleeding on the bathroom floor. She was transported to a hospital, where she died four days later.
Williams — who had reportedly been permanently banned from the casino since 2015 when she was caught stealing a patron’s wallet — and Townsel got away with about $1,000 from the robbery, authorities said. Assad’s purse was never recovered.
According to the Press-Enterprise, Williams was the one who followed Assad into the bathroom while Townsel waited outside as the lookout. Authorities said that at one point, Townsel intentionally bumped into a female staffer to prevent her from entering the restroom.
Before Freer handed down the sentence, Williams had her attorney read a statement apologizing to Assad’s family.
“I am so sorry for your loss,” Williams wrote, according to the Press-Enterprise. “I have been praying for you and your family every day. I am not responsible for the death of Mrs. Assad. Although the courts have found me guilty of the charges, we all know the truth, and that there is one judge, and that is God, and that he knows the truth.”
But Freer was reportedly unmoved by Williams’ lack of remorse.
“The idea that either Miss Williams or Miss Townsel is not responsible for the death of a human being is laughable,” Freer reportedly said. “She was left on a bathroom floor with her head exploding. A casino bathroom, where people go to urinate and defecate and do God knows what else. That’s how her life ended, not with her family and friends around her.”
Townsel reportedly did not address the court.
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Kimesha Monae Williams gets life for casino bathroom murder
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