Continuing my ongoing series about the scumbag Tookie I figured some of the witnesses used against him need to be heard. Below is the description of these witnesses and what they said, as printed in the Los Angeles DA’s response to Tookie’s clemency appeal:
In 1974, Layduane Douglas worked as the gun supervisor at Western Surplus. As the gun supervisor, Mrs. Douglas was familiar with the record-keeping process utilized at the store. Mrs. Douglas, through her testimony and through documentation, proved that on February 25, 1974, Stanley Williams purchased the shotgun used in these murders.
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.
In 1979, Stanley Williams lived with James Garrett. In fact, Williams typically stayed there between 5 and 7 days a week. He also kept, among other things, his shotgun at the residence. On March 13, 1979, just two days after the Brookhaven motel murders, Williams asked Mr. Garrett if he had heard about the motel murders. Williams went on to explain that some ?Chinese people? or ?Buddhaheads? had been killed. 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.
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).
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.?
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.
Williams also told Mr. Garrett that he was considering killing Blackie. Of course, this was subsequently corroborated by Williams? jailhouse note where he indicated Blackie was a ?heartbeat away from death.?
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 a violation of Penal Code ? 496 (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. Clearly, Mr. Garrett was a criminal. However, it is a testament to the character and activities of Stanley Williams that the person with whom Williams chose to live was a criminal. It also explains why Williams was comfortable confiding in him. Williams, knowing Garrett to be a criminal, felt safe in telling Garrett about the murders. Finally, the jury heard all about the criminal activities of Mr. Garrett and still found Williams guilty of these four grisly murders.
Ester Garrett was the wife of James Garrett. She also participated in conversations with Williams regarding his involvement in these murders. Moreover, she relayed these conversations to the jury. According to Mrs. Garrett, Williams told her he broke down the motel door with his shoulder, shot the lady by the register (Mrs. Yang), shot the man on the couch (Mr. Yang), and shot the lady coming through the door (Mrs. Lin). He described the victims as ?Buddhaheads.?
Williams also told Mrs. Garrett that he killed some ?white dude? for about $63.00 and that Blackie (Coward) couldn?t handle it so he vomited. Williams also stated that he was concerned Blackie might talk to the police and, as a result, he (Williams) might kill Blackie.
Ester Garrett 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 vastly reduced sentence for her testimony. Like Mr. Garrett, she had previously been in trouble with the law. However, the jury was informed of this criminal past and still found Williams guilty of all four murders.
Alfred Coward (Blackie) was with Stanley Williams the night Williams shot and killed Albert Owens. Mr. Coward provided the jury with a detailed account of the events leading up to the murder of Mr. Owens. For example, Coward described how Williams retrieved his shotgun and another gun earlier in the night. Mr. Coward described the vehicles used, namely a 1969 Cadillac and an old brown station wagon. Mr. Coward explained that he, Williams, Tony Sims, and a fourth man named Darryl, drove to the Stop-N-Go to commit a robbery, that Darryl (wearing a corduroy jacket) and Sims (wearing a green jogging suit) entered the store but failed to complete the planned crime, and that all four men then drove to the 7-Eleven to make a new attempt.
Mr. Coward explained that when they arrived at the 7-Eleven, Mr. Owens was sweeping the parking lot. The men exited their respective vehicles, at which time Williams put his shotgun to Mr. Owens and forced him into the back of the store. Coward described how Williams forced Owens to the floor, shot out the security monitor, and then shot Owens twice in the back with the shotgun.
Mr. Coward also explained how Williams laughed about the murder of Albert Owens. Specifically, Mr. Coward heard Williams say ?you should have heard the way he sounded when I shot him.? Williams followed this comment by making growling noises and then laughing hysterically.
Albert Coward was an accomplice in this crime. He was with the three other individuals during the time the weapons were gathered by Williams, and he drove his 1969 Cadillac to the various locations. Additionally, he entered the 7-Eleven along with the other men. Alfred Coward was given immunity. This grant of immunity, which was revealed to the jury, was granted to ensure the successful prosecution and conviction of the actual killer, Stanley Williams.
In February 1979, Johnny Garcia worked the night shift at the Stop-N-Go. Mr. Garcia testified that on February 28, 1979, at approximately 4:00 a.m., he had just finished mopping the floors. At that time, he saw four black males at the front door of the store. He also saw a station wagon in the parking lot. According to Mr. Garcia, two of the four men entered the store, walked around the store for a few minutes, asked for a cigarette and then left the store. Mr. Garcia described the two men as black males, with one wearing a green jogging suit and one wearing a brown coat.
Johnny Garcia 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. Mr. Garcia, by all accounts, was a hard-working night teller at this convenience store. His testimony, although it did not directly link Williams to the plot, was notable in that it directly corroborated much of Alfred Coward?s testimony about being at the Stop-N-Go to commit a robbery, that one of the vehicles was a station wagon, and about the clothing worn by two of the men.
On February 28, 1979, at approximately 4:30 a.m., Mr. Dominguez was driving to his place of employment. As he drove along Whittier Boulevard, he passed the 7-Eleven. As he did so, he noticed a station wagon in the parking lot, and two people standing at the counter area of the store.
Mr. Dominguez was not an accomplice, he was not a jailhouse informant, he was not facing prison time or death, and he was not granted freedom or a reduced sentence for his testimony. Like Johnny Garcia, he was an uninvolved citizen witness who was able to corroborate some of the relevant facts testified to by Alfred Coward.
Dale Coates worked the night shift as a truck driver. On February 28, 1979, he drove past the 7-Eleven on Whittier Boulevard sometime around 4:30 a.m. As he did so, he noticed two cars in the parking lot. He remembered one of the cars was a light-colored car and the other car was darker and longer. He also testified he saw a thin white male walking toward the store entrance, while being followed by two black males wearing three-quarter length jackets.
As the white male walked, he looked over his shoulder at the two black males behind him.
With the testimony of Mr. Coates, the prosecution again corroborated statements made by Alfred Coward. Mr. Coates corroborated the approximate time of the crime, he corroborated the vehicles used, and he corroborated the sequence of events at the time Williams walked up behind Mr. Owens and forced him into the store.
Contrary to the claims made in Williams? petition, Mr. Coates did this despite the fact he 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 reduced sentence for his testimony. Instead, he was a completely uninvolved citizen witness who was able to corroborate some of the relevant facts testified to by Alfred Coward.
Although George Oglesby can be characterized as a jailhouse informant, the jury was fully informed of this. In fact, defense counsel for Williams conducted a lengthy and aggressive cross-examination of Mr. Oglesby on this very issue. Much of what George Oglesby testified to, however, was corroborated by handwritten notes written by Stanley Williams himself. Not only did George Oglesby identify these notes as being written by Stanley Williams, but Deputy Matthews recognized the writing from having previously received notes from Williams. In addition, Stanley Williams personally handed a note to Deputy Lichten that was subsequently used for comparison purposes.
Herbert Campbell, a court-qualified handwriting expert, then compared the handwritten note passed to Deputy Lichten to the escape notes, and determined that all the notes were written by the same person.
Tony Sims, like Alfred Coward, was an accomplice in the 7-Eleven robbery-murder. However, Sims did not testify at Williams? trial because he was not granted immunity. Sims was separately prosecuted for his role in the 7-Eleven robbery-murder. Sims? statement to homicide investigators following his arrest, along with his sworn testimony over several decades, not only corroborates the testimony of Alfred Coward offered at Stanley Williams? trial, but further establishes, without question, Stanley Williams? guilt.
Tony Sims was arrested on March 23, 1979, for his participation in the robbery of the 7-Eleven that led to Albert Owens? murder. After his arrest on March 23, 1979, Tony Sims spoke to homicide investigators. In that audio-taped interview, Tony Sims openly admitted his involvement and the role he played in the robbery leading up to the murder of Albert Owens.
Moreover, Sims identified the other participants as Alfred Coward (Blackie), Darryl and Stanley Williams (Tookie), identifying Stanley Williams as the man who senselessly executed Albert Owens.
Tony Sims was subsequently prosecuted for his role in Owens? murder. At his trial, Sims testified in his own defense. Under oath, Sims again identified Stanley Williams as Owens? killer.
Sims was convicted of the first-degree murder of Owens based on the felony murder rule (a killing committed during the course of a robbery). Sims was also convicted of robbery. Additionally, the allegation that a principal was armed with a shotgun was found to be true and the special circumstance of robbery-murder was found to be true. At sentencing, the court specifically found ?. . . that the defendant (Sims) was not the actual killer in the sense of handling the shotgun that caused the death of the victim in this case . . .?. On May 20, 1981
Sims was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus one year.
In 1982, the Second Appellate District struck the special circumstance finding of robbery-murder against Sims, holding that there was no substantial evidence that Sims aided and abetted the robbery of Owens with the intent that Owens be killed. Sims was subsequently re-sentenced to an indeterminate term of life in prison.
At subsequent parole hearings, Sims, again under oath, has repeatedly identified Stanley Williams as the man who shot-gunned Owens to death. Tony Sims, throughout the last 26 years, has never wavered in his identification of Stanley Williams as Owens? killer.
But according to Mike Farrell, all these witnesses were bribed to say this against an innocent man. How do people such as Mr. Farrell even look at themselves in the mirror? Too bad we don’t have the electric chair anymore, Mike could hold Tookie’s hand while the switch was pulled.