Sister of NBA star Kawhi Leonard sentenced to life in prison

Posted at 9:24 AM, April 24, 2023 and last updated 10:20 AM, April 24, 2023


RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. (Scripps News/Court TV) — The sister of Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for her part in the murder of 84-year-old woman, according to reports.

Kimesha Williams mugshot

This undated photo released by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 shows Kimesha Williams. A relative of NBA star Kawhi Leonard has confirmed his sister, Kimesha Williams, is one of two women accused of robbing and killing an elderly woman at a Southern California casino. (Riverside County Sheriff’s Department via AP)

In Feb., Kimesha Williams, 39, was convicted in the death of Afaf Assad, who was attacked and robbed in the bathroom of a California casino in 2019.

Candace Tai Townsel, 42, was also sentenced for the woman’s death. Both Williams and Townsel had been charged with first-degree murder, robbery and elder abuse, reports The Press-Enterprise.

Reports say Assad went with her husband to the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California, on August 31, 2019, and was holding a large pink purse containing about $1,000 for gambling. Williams was said to have followed Assad into the bathroom while Townsel was on lookout duty and even prevented a custodian from entering.

A woman in one of the restroom stalls reportedly heard a thud. Williams and Townsel fled, and Assad was found unconscious and bleeding on the bathroom floor. She suffered a broken skull and died four days later, according to ESPN.

While Leonard’s aunt, Denise Woodard, did confirm to The Press-Enterprise in 2019 that Williams and Leonard are brother and sister, she said the NBA player “didn’t have anything to do with this.”

This story was originally published April 23 by Scripps News.