Stanley ‘Tookie’ Williams
The convicted quadruple murderer who founded the notorious Crips street gang has mobilized Hollywood celebrities in a bid to avert execution next month despite admitting his crimes to others, the eyewitness accounts of accomplices, and a jailhouse plot to escape by killing two sheriff’s deputies, according to a report of the L.A. County district attorney.
Stanley “Tookie” Williams is scheduled to be executed Dec. 13 by lethal injection but is appealing to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for clemency, with the help of celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Jesse Jackson, Desmond Tutu, Harry Belafonte, Russell Crowe, actor Mike Farrell, Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx and former model Bianca Jagger.
But a review by WND of the Los Angeles County district attorney’s response to the petition for clemency provides a glimpse of the evidence against the nominee for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Williams, 51, was convicted of the 1979 murders of Tsai-Shai Yang, Yen-I Yang, Yee-Chen Lin and Albert Owens in two separate robberies. Imprisoned since 1981, he is asking Schwarzenegger to grant him clemency because he says he has earned redemption through the writing of children’s books.
“Stanley Williams does not deserve this mercy,” said the DA’s report to the governor. “In fact, despite the overwhelming nature of the evidence against him, and despite the non-existence of any credible defense, Stanley Williams has steadfastly refused to take any responsibility for the brutal, destructive, and murderous acts he committed. Without such responsibility, there can be no redemption, there can be no atonement, and there should be no mercy.”
Though Williams has steadfastly denied committing the four murders, the DA’s report says he admitted the crimes to the following people:
- James Garrett, a man with whom Williams lived most of the time before and after the murders were committed. The DA says Garrett possessed specific details of the crime and that Williams threatened to kill one of his accomplices, Alfred Coward.
- Ester Garrett, the wife of James Garrett, who said Williams characterized the Taiwanese motel owners murdered in one of the robberies as “Buddhaheads.” She said Williams also admitted killing another “white dude” for $63 and indicated he was also considering killing Coward.
- Coward, one of Williams’ accomplices, testified that Williams laughed about the murder of Owens. “You should have heard the way he sounded when I shot him,” Coward recalled Williams saying. He followed this statement with growling noises.
- Tony Sims, another accomplice did not testify in the Williams’ case because he was not offered immunity. But his sworn testimony in his own trial, in which he received a life sentence, corroborated the account of Coward. In subsequent parole hearings over the last 26 years, his account of Williams’ execution-style murders of the victims has never changed.
In addition, the DA report says Williams implicated himself in the murders at the motel by telling deputies after his arrest that five shots were fired.
“Williams, in a moment of mistaken candor, provided detectives with information only the killer would know,” the report says. “Moreover, he repeated that knowledge twice. When confronted with this apparent knowledge, Williams against acting as the guilty party, retracted the statements and denied saying what he had just been heard to say. These statements and Williams’ immediate retraction of them are admissions to the Brookhaven (Motel) murders. Williams knew five shots were fired because it was Williams who pulled the trigger each of those five times.”
The DA report also contains revelations about a plot by Williams to escape from the Los Angeles County Jail, killing two deputies in the process and then murdering Coward.
Rapper Snoop Dogg rallies on behalf of Tookie Williams
That plan was disclosed by fellow inmate George Oglesby, who provided handwritten notes and detailed maps. Two armed people on the outside were to aid the plan, which involved blowing up a prisoner transport bus with dynamite to delay identification of who escaped.
In one of those notes, Williams wrote that Coward was a “heartbeat away from death.” Oglesby said Williams planned to kill Coward because he was a witness against him.
While Williams’ celebrity cheerleaders have claimed he has been a model prisoner throughout his sentence and have pointed to this as evidence of his rehabilitation, the DA’s report contains 11 examples of incidents for which he was disciplined, beginning in 1981 and continuing through 1993. They include:
- a violent fight with another inmate June 30, 1981, in which he repeatedly struck the prisoner while kneeling over him;
- a refusal to line up for a return to his cell Jan. 26, 1982, in which he threatened a guard;
- throwing a chemical substance in the eyes of a guard Jan. 28, 1982, in an attack that resulted in chemical burns and emergency treatment;
- a second attack on a guard with a chemical substance Jan. 29, 1982;
- an attack on another inmate Feb. 16, 1984, in which Williams only stopped beating the prisoner when a warning shot was fired;
- a threat to kill a guard June 8, 1984;
- the beating of another inmate July 4, 1986 that only ceased when armed officers arrived on the scene;
- another fight with an inmate that led to his own stabbing, reportedly retaliation for his ordering another inmate to be stabbed;
- his continued association with the Crips street gang led to administrative segregation Oct. 19, 1988;
- the beating of another inmate Dec. 24, 1991, that only stopped after a warning shot was fired;
- another fight with other inmates July 6, 1993, in which a stabbing instrument (shank) was recovered.
The DA’s report also says Williams threatened all of the jurors after they found him guilty.
“Specifically, the defendant looked at the jurors and said he ‘was going to get all’ of them,” said the report. “After learning of this threat, the trial judge inquired of the jury foreperson. The foreperson confirmed the defendant mouthed the words ‘I’m going to get each and every one of you m—–f——.”
The DA also points out that Williams has steadfastly refused to be debriefed about his in-depth knowledge of the Crips street gang.
“This gang is responsible for the regular commission of crimes such as murder, rape, robbery and drug sales,” says the report. “The gang has taken over large areas of many of our communities. As a result, hard-working, law-abiding citizens are forced to live in daily fear that gang members might take their lives.”
In 2004, the city of Los Angeles alone, gang crimes accounted for 291 homicides, 717 attempted homicides, 2,616 felony assaults, 61 attacks on police officers, 2,308 robberies, 44 kidnappings, 36 rapes, 754 acts of witness intimidation, 20 acts of extortion and 188 carjackings.
“Although Stanley Williams is not directly responsible for every gang crime committed today, he was an integral founding member of a gang that has contributed, and continues to contribute, to the gang problem with devastating force,” says the report. “This plague on our society continues to spread, and continues to take lives on a daily basis. Williams unleashed this violence in no less a manner than if he had released a deadly virus into our communities.”
Williams’ lawyers are reportedly trying to secure a meeting with Schwarzenegger in their bid for clemency.