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  • Sacramento police

    Michael Williams

  • Associated Press file

    Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes sent a tweet expressing his gratitude after Tuesday’s arrest.

Man suspected of killing NBA star’s aunt in Meadowview taken into police custody

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 29, 2014 - 10:43 am

As she lay dying on the sidewalk, Tanganyika Williams is said to have spoken her killer’s name, according to court documents.

Williams, 41, who was bleeding profusely from a stab wound to the neck, told at least one bystander who stopped to help her the morning of July 8 that Michael Williams was responsible for her injuries. Her 51-year-old estranged husband had used a writing pen in the attack, according to witness statements relayed in a Sacramento police detective’s application for an arrest warrant.

For more than two weeks, Michael Williams has been on the run, believed to be somewhere in south Sacramento County. Then, about 9 a.m. Tuesday, a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy acting on a tip spotted him near Darla Way and Hemington Drive, about 5 miles from where the stabbing occurred on 24th Street near Meadowview Road.

Michael Williams was arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of murder. He is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit filed in Sacramento Superior Court, two passers-by found a partially naked Tanganyika Williams “struggling to stay alive” after the attack. One of them grabbed a bedsheet from his home and tried to cover her up, homicide Detective Brian DeDonder wrote in the affidavit. The witness relayed that the victim was trying to say something, but he couldn’t remember what was said.

A passing bicyclist, however, remembered the woman repeatedly saying the name “Michael Williams,” DeDonder wrote. Confused whether she wanted him to call Michael Williams or whether Michael Williams was her assailant, he tried to clarify. “Yeah, Michael Williams is the one that did this,” Tanganyika Williams responded, according to the detective’s account of the man’s statement to police.

She died at a local hospital that day. Police next asked for the public’s help in finding Michael Williams. He reportedly was seen last week near Stockton Boulevard and 65th Street wearing a white T-shirt and black pants. He was spotted going into a building and was wearing a “face covering” in an apparent effort to conceal his identity.

Tanganyika WIlliams’ family members told police and The Sacramento Bee that she and her husband were estranged and likely to get a divorce. Her son, David Williams Jr., said his mother loved children and, as the mother of four and grandmother of two, was in the process of opening a day-care business. He described her as a “happy-go-lucky person.”

As the search for Michael Williams continued, Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes took to social media to ask for the public’s help in finding the man accused of killing his aunt.

On Twitter and Instagram, Barnes asked that anyone aware of Williams’ whereabouts call police. There has been no confirmation if the NBA player’s use of social media resulted in Williams being taken into custody; however, the basketball star tweeted his thanks Tuesday to Sacramento police and his social media followers.

He also called on other athletes and entertainers to use their “platform” to draw attention to the daily violence in the country.

“In the wake of this tragedy it makes me realize how (blessed) I am,” Barnes wrote on Twitter. “Because I play in the NBA, my voice was heard, but what about all the people who aren’t professional athletes or entertainers (whose) family members are being killed daily, how do they get justice?”


Call The Bee’s Kim Minugh, (916) 321-1038. Follow her on Twitter @Kim_Minugh.

Read more articles by Kim Minugh



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