Los Angeles Clipper star Kawhi Leonard's sister has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of an elderly woman. Kimesha Williams, 39, was convicted for first-degree murder, robbery and elder abuse in February and sentenced on Friday for the killing of Afaf Assad, an 84-year-old woman from Long Beach.
Besides Williams, Candace Townsell, 42, also received the same conviction and sentence for the same 2019 murder, according to The Press-Enterprise. Williams and Townsell followed Assad to a bathroom at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California, before brutally murdering her, according to the Mercury News.
Stalked and Killed
Deputies from the Southwest Sheriff's Station said they were called to the four-star hotel and casino in Temecula, a two-hour drive south of Los Angeles, on August 31, 2019, before 8 am, where they discovered Assad unconscious on the toilet floor.
She and her husband of 59 years Youanness, 93, brought a $1,000 handbag into the casino, according to The Press-Enterprise. Assad eventually went to the restroom, where Williams followed her with Townsell keeping watch and occasionally obstructing a custodian from entering.
No one witnessed the attack on Assad take place, but a woman at a stall heard a "thud" before Townsell and Williams eventually left the restroom and made a "beeline" for the exit.
She was found with a cracked skull and bleeding from her head. Moreover, when Assad was found, the purse was also gone.
Assad died at a nearby hospital four days later after being admitted with "serious injuries."
According to Riverside County Senior Deputy District Attorney Marcus Garrett, one of the attackers pulled the handbag out of Assad's hands as the other threw the elder to the ground.
"This has been a long, painful journey through the criminal court justice system," Assad's daughter, Mary, said in a statement, according to the report. "I still can't believe my mother was the victim of a violent crime. ... Part of me died in that hospital room with her.
"My father is without his wife and partner and is isolated and alone in a way we cannot begin to understand ... We seek not vengeance but there needs to be a reckoning for their heinous act."
On Friday, Leonard didn't attend his sister's sentencing. Williams and Townsell were well-known to employees at the Pechanga Resort and other Inland Empire casinos when Assad was killed a little less than four years ago.
Williams was permanently barred from Pechanga After stealing someone's wallet in 2015, a casino official told the Press-Enterprise News. Garrett stated in a court document that Leonard's sister was also permanently banned from entering the Yaamava Casino in Highland and the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon as a result of "ripping winning tickets" out of people's hands.
In addition, Townsell had a 90-day ban from the Soboba Casino Resort near San Jacinto in 2017 after two purses went missing, according to Garret's complaint.
She was also banned from Morongo Casino after a shoving incident with her boyfriend in 2018. According to Press-Enterprise News, Williams was previously found guilty of a crime in Los Angeles County that involved an attempted robbery.
Leonard has three sisters besides Williams. He has won two NBA championships with the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors. On January 18, 2008, his father, Mark Leonard, was shot and killed at the Compton car wash he ran.
The five-time NBA All-Star insisted on playing the following night before breaking down after the game. It has not been found who killed his father.
Leonard, who has two children of his own, is the cousin of NFL wide receiver Stevie Johnson. He and Kobe Bryant had the same pilot, Ara Zobayan, who was killed in the 2020 catastrophe along with the Lakers superstar, his daughter, Gianna, and six others.
Outside of sports, Leonard maintains a low profile. He declines requests for interviews and avoids questions about his personal life. He has also previously admitted that he doesn't regularly use news or social media.