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Judge Rejects Request To Delay Crips Co-Founder's Execution
Williams Will Be Executed Dec. 13
POSTED: 11:33 am PDT October 24, 2005
UPDATED: 12:08 pm PDT October 24, 2005
LOS ANGELES -- A Los Angeles judge signed a death warrant Monday for convicted killer and Crips co-founder "Tookie" Williams, rejecting his attorneys' request for a nine-day delay in his execution date.
Williams is scheduled to die Dec. 13 at San Quentin prison for four murders committed in 1979. Since being sentenced to die, Williams has written a series of children's books in his effort to curtail youth gang violence.
Since being condemned to death, Williams has renounced his gang past, penned children's books, been the subject of a cable television movie starring Jamie Foxx and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for work he has done to curtail youth violence -- all from his 9-foot-by-4-foot cell on San Quentin's death row.
Now 51, Williams was 16 when he and a high school friend, Raymond Washington, began the Crips street gang in South Los Angeles in 1971.
Known as "Big Took" to fellow Crips, Williams helped build the gang into a nationwide criminal enterprise that continues to spawn street violence more than 30 years later.
In 1981, he was sentenced to death for the 1979 murders -- which he denies committing and which occurred the same year that Washington was killed during a gang confrontation.
The first victim in the killings, which took place during two separate robberies two weeks apart, was Albert Lewis Owens, a 23-year-old Whittier 7- Eleven employee.
An immunized government witness testified that he, Williams and two other men took $120 from the store's cash register. He said Williams then shot the young man execution-style and mocked the gurgling sounds the victim made as he lay dying.
Williams was also found guilty of the shotgun murders of Thsai-Shai Yang, Yen-I Yang and Yee Chen Lin. The couple and their daughter owned a South Vermont Avenue motel that the gang targeted for robbery.
Williams presented an alibi defense at his trial. Attorneys handling his appeal argued that Los Angeles County prosecutors had engaged in racial discrimination by seeking to keep black people off the jury.
In February, a majority of the judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted against re-hearing Williams' appeal. And on Oct. 11, the U.S. Supreme Court declined, without comment, to review his case.
The high court's decision cleared the way for Williams' execution by lethal injection -- unless Schwarzenegger intervenes. But no condemned murderer has been granted clemency in California since 1967.
"In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." George Orwell