Kimesha Monae Williams, the sister of NBA star Kawhi Leonard, was charged on Friday with the murder of 84-year old Afaf Anis Assad at the Pechanga Resort Casino near Temecula, California. Both Williams and Candace Tai Townsel were arrested on September 3rd and charged with robbery and elder abuse in addition to murder. According to The Mercury News, both are also facing the charge of “special circumstance of committing a robbery during a murder,” something that could earn them the death penalty.
Mary Assad, Afaf Anis’ daughter, said she and her family dropped her parents off at Pechanga a bit before 7:30am on August 31st. Security video shows that the two suspects were exiting the casino when Afaf Anis and her husband, 94-year old Youanness, were entering at 7:27am. A minute later, Tounsel followed Assad into the restroom. Williams paused outside the restroom for a moment before entering.
At 7:30am, according to the newspaper, a casino patron entered a bathroom stall and heard somebody fall. Two minutes later, Townsel left the restroom, but when she noticed a custodian heading in that direction, she briefly intercepted her. Townsel and Williams left the casino at 7:33am, about the same time the other person in the restroom and the casino employee found Mrs. Assad.
Assad was unconscious. Her skull was broken, her brain was bleeding, and her purse containing $1,000 was nowhere to be found. She passed away on September 4th.
“We dropped them off at the valet and waved to them,” Mary Assad told The Mercury News. “You would think it’s a safe place to take your parents.”
In a court document, a sheriff’s investigator noted, “Williams has a violent history and targeted a feeble elderly female and robbed her.”
Among the history includes, “convictions for petty theft, grand theft, misappropriating lost property, grand theft auto and attempted robbery.”
She likely had no problem at all overwhelming Assad. Size clearly runs in the family. Kawhi Leonard is 6’ 7”, while his sister is 6’ 2”, 320 pounds. There is no reason to think that the L.A. Clippers star, who led the Toronto Raptors to the NBA championship this year, had anything to do with the crime.
Leonard signed a $103 million contract with the Clippers this summer. The Riverside County investigator is well aware that Leonard could pay Williams’ $1 million bail and therefore requested no bail to be sure she is not walking around free.
Surveillance video shows Williams scrounging a cell phone out of the lost and found and then showing her driver’s license and players club card and filling out a form, presumably to claim it. That was likely one way she was identified. In November 2015, video shows her stealing a slot player’s wallet after Tounsel distracted the woman.
“We are absolutely saddened over this incident and are praying for the victim and her family,” Jared Munoa, president of the Pechanga Development Corporation, said in a statement e-mailed to The Mercury News. “We pride ourselves on putting the safety of our guests and team members first and are fully cooperating with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice.”
Lead image credit: Riverside Sheriff’s Department