Crime - Sacto 911

Husband draws 56-years-to-life sentence for killing estranged wife

A man convicted of killing his estranged wife, the aunt of NBA player Matt Barnes, has been sentenced to 56 years to life in prison.

Michael Williams, 52, was convicted in December of first-degree murder in the slaying of Tanganyika Williams. The jury also found that he had used a deadly weapon in committing the crime. He was sentenced Friday by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Goodman, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office news release.

Tanganyika Williams was planning to end the marriage. On July 8, 2014, the couple were in Michael Williams’ van on 24th Street near Meadowview Road when Williams stabbed his wife twice in the neck, then fled the area.

Tanganyika Williams was able to get out of the van and tell bystanders and police officers that Michael Williams was the assailant. She was pronounced dead 30 minutes later because of massive blood loss.

Michael Williams was captured three weeks later when someone spotted him and called 911. When captured, Williams was planning to take a bus to Oklahoma, authorities said.

During the search for Williams, then-Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes took to social media to seek the public’s help in finding the man accused of killing his aunt. Barnes grew up in the Sacramento area, starring in basketball and football at Del Campo High School.

Tanganyika Williams, the mother of four children and grandmother of two, was in the process of opening a day care business at the time of her death.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy