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The Witnesses Against Stanley 'Tookie' Williams

Statement 'Factually Inaccurate,' D.A. Says


Updated July 02, 2006
The Los Angeles District Attorney's office reputed the claim made by Stanley 'Tookie' Williams that all of the witnesses against him received freedom or vastly reduced sentences for their testimony:

Counsel for Williams claims in the "Petition for Executive Clemency" that: What the District Attorney may not acknowledge is the nature of the evidence against Stanley Williams, who has always asserted his innocence . . . the case rested on the testimony of claimed accomplices and admitted informants, including a notorious jailhouse informant, all of whom were facing substantial prison time and even death for various offenses, and all of whom received either freedom or vastly reduced sentences for their testimony. (Petition for Executive Clemency, Dated November 8, 2005, 9).

This statement is factually inaccurate. The People's case rested on strong physical evidence, eyewitnesses, and a series of incriminating admissions made by Williams himself.

The following is a summary of some of the evidence in this case, as well as the witnesses that testified against Williams. It was this evidence that led the trial judge to deny the defense 18 motion to dismiss, to deny the defense motion for a new trial, to affirm the jury's verdict of death, and to finally conclude that the evidence: Established highly aggravating circumstances in that the defendant (Williams) shot gunned and killed three people in one robbery, and a fourth person at the other robbery.

The victims, who were defenseless, and offered no resistance, were killed with blasts from defendant's shotgun for the purpose of preventing the victims from ever being witnesses against the defendant These four killings were deliberate, premeditated, and with malice aforethought, as well as being robbery murders…the defendant used force and violence against the four victims for its own sake. (TT 3088-3089).

Layduane Douglas

In 1974, Layduane Douglas worked as the gun supervisor at Western Surplus. (TT 1478). As the gun supervisor, Mrs. Douglas was familiar with the record-keeping process utilized at the store. (TT 1478-1487). Mrs. Douglas, through her testimony and through documentation, proved that on February 25, 1974, Stanley Williams purchased the shotgun used in these murders. (TT 1478-1489).

Despite Williams' claims in his clemency petition, Douglas was not an accomplice, she was not a jailhouse informant, she was not facing a lengthy prison term or death, and she was not granted freedom or a reduced sentence for her testimony. She was simply a citizen testifying to facts within the scope of her knowledge.

James Garrett

In 1979, Stanley Williams lived with James Garrett. In fact, Williams typically stayed there between 5 and 7 days a week. (TT 1673-1674). He also kept, among other things, his shotgun at the residence. (TT 1673, 1691-1693). On March 13, 1979, just two days after the Brookhaven motel murders, Williams asked Mr. Garrett if he had heard about the motel murders. (TT 1675-1677).

Williams went on to explain that some "Chinese people" or "Buddhaheads" had been killed. (TT 1677-1678, 1720). Williams also stated that the murderer must have been a professional because he picked up the shotgun shells and did not leave behind any witnesses. (TT 1678, 1687).

Williams later provided Mr. Garrett with even more details. Williams explained that a big guy knocked down the door and "blew away" a guy on a couch (Mr. Yang), a woman near the register (Mrs. Yang), and a third person who came out from behind (Ms. Lin). (TT 1682).

Eventually, Williams admitted he was the actual murderer. He stated, in referring to committing a future robbery, he will "blow them away just like I blew them Buddhaheads away on Vermont." (TT 1720).

In addition to admitting his involvement in the Brookhaven murders, Williams also admitted killing Albert Owens. Specifically, Williams told Mr. Garrett that he had used his shotgun to blow away a white guy at a store, that Blackie (Alfred Coward) was with him, and that Blackie was a "punk" because Blackie couldn't eat after the murder. (TT 1688-1690).

Considered Killing Witness

Williams also told Mr. Garrett that he was considering killing Blackie. (TT 1689). Of course, this was subsequently corroborated by Williams' jailhouse note where he indicated Blackie was a "heartbeat away from death." (Trial Exh. 78).

James Garrett was not an accomplice, he was not a jailhouse informant, he was not facing a lengthy prison term or death, and he was not granted freedom or a vastly reduced sentence for his testimony. This is not to say Mr. Garrett had an unblemished past.

At the time of trial, Mr. Garrett was facing sentencing for receiving stolen property. This crime carried a sentence of either one year in county jail or a maximum sentence of three years in state prison. Mr. Garrett also had a pending extortion case.

Next: More Witnesses Against Tookie Williams

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