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NBA Star Kawhi Leonard's Sister Charged with Murder in the Death of 84-Year-Old Woman at a Casino

Monica Otayza
Sep 09, 2019
12:30 P.M.
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NBA Star Kawhi Leonard's sister is charged with murder for the death of an 84-year-old woman at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula.


Mary Assad and her family brought her elderly parents to the Pechanga Resort Casino near Temecula on August 31 before heading to a day trip to Julian in San Diego, when they got the most terrible news.

According to Mary, they dropped off her parents at the valet, thinking it was a safe place for her parents.


The Long Beach residents, Afaf Anis Assad, 84, and her husband Youanness, 94, walked inside the casino before 7:30 AM, the same time Kimesha Monae Williams and Candace Tai Townsel were walking out.

Williams is the older sister of Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard and is now convicted for the murder and robbery of the 84-year-old.

The Committed Crime

However, when they saw a pink purse hanging from Afaf's left arm, they went back inside the casino.


The surveillance video showed Williams and Townsell follow Afaf into the women's bathroom. Four minutes later, the women were gone and Assad was found unconscious in the bathroom, her head bleeding and with her purse missing.

The Arrest of the Suspects

Williams, 35, and Townsel, 39, were arrested on September 3 following the incident. Assad passed away the next day succumbing to her injuries.

Candace Tai Townsel (Left) and Kimesha Monae Williams have been charged for the murder of 84-year-old Afaf Anis Assad | Riverside County Sheriff's Department

Candace Tai Townsel (Left) and Kimesha Monae Williams have been charged for the murder of 84-year-old Afaf Anis Assad | Riverside County Sheriff's Department


On Friday, September 6, they were charged with murder, robbery, elder abuse, and a special circumstance of committing a robbery during a murder that makes them eligible for the death penalty.

Undecided Verdict

However, the District Attorney's Office has not decided on whether or not to carry on with the penalty or instead give them life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The death penalty, while not as common as it used to be, may still be used as a form of punishment for the most heinous crimes.

Crimes Eligible for Death Penalty


Last year, the State of Colorado named Christopher Watts as the main suspect for the murder of his pregnant wife and two daughters, facing nine criminal charges, three of which are murder in the first degree.

The suspect is in jail without bail, after confessing that he killed his family in a "rage attack." In fact, they made it clear that capital punishment is not off the table, but they were still weighing in the decision on using the death penalty when the case goes to trial.

The death penalty was reinstated in 1975 in Colorado, and only 14 cases have led to death sentences.

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