Pechanga Casino patron dies after robbery, two arrested

TAGs: California, Pechanga Resort & Casino, robbery

The Los Angeles Clippers newest star, Kawhi Leonard, is probably wishing he could hide for a while and avoid the public eye until after the storm. That storm centers on his sister, Kimesha Williams, who now stands charged with murder and robbery after attacking an elderly patron visiting the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temulca, California about a week ago.

pechanga-casino-patron-dies-after-robbery-two-arrestedAccording to local police, 84-year-old Afaf Anis Assad was found unconscious in a bathroom at the casino at around 8 AM on August 31. The Long Beach resident had only been dropped off for a little early-morning action by her husband and son before allegedly being brutally attacked by Williams and Candace Townsel. Assad was rushed to a hospital, but later succumbed to her injuries.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office explained in a statement, “Southwest Station investigators identified two suspects believed to be involved in the crime. Investigators who had also been closely monitoring Assad’s medical status, learned she would likely die from her injuries. The Central Homicide Unit was notified and responded to assist with the investigation.”

It wasn’t difficult to identify the two suspects – they must have forgotten that casinos have cameras all over the place. Not an oversight that wouldn’t be expected – criminals aren’t exactly the brightest individuals. Williams and Townsel had their mugs appear on surveillance as they followed Assad to the bathroom, emerging four minutes later. Assad would subsequently be found in the bathroom with blood coming from her brain and cash missing from her purse.

According to California law, the two suspects could be charged with first degree murder, a charge that usually requires the use of some type of weapon. However, it can also be presented in cases where a felony leads to the death, as is the case of a robbery. If prosecutors decide to seek the charge, Williams and Townsel are looking at anywhere from 25 to life in prison. The death penalty isn’t an option, since California abolished it in 1972.

The suspects have already appeared before a judge and were denied bail, partly as a result of Williams’ connection to Leonard. The small forward is an NBA stand out, having earned 2 NBA championships and two Finals MVP awards. Leonard just signed on with the LA Clippers and the judge was concerned that his status and wealth could turn Williams into a flight risk.


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