Thursday, July 28, 2011
Grieving family members and friends will gather Thursday to bid farewell to a veteran San Diego police child-abuse detective and her 18-year-old daughter, both slain July 18 in their Rancho Peñasquitos home allegedly by the policewoman's mentally ill son.
Mourners will gather at a 4S Ranch church in late this morning to honor the lives of Donna Williams, 52, who served with the San Diego Police Department for 31 years, and her youngest child, Briana, a 2011 graduate of Mount Carmel High School.
About 1:15 a.m., neighbors awakened to a woman's screams and looked outside to see Briana Williams struggling with her 24-year-old brother, Brian Rockwell Williams, on a second-floor deck outside her bedroom window, according to prosecutors.
At one point, Briana was hanging from the balcony by her hands, then dropped to a pavement slab below, after which her 6-foot, 300-pound sibling calmly went back into the home, witnesses reported.
When police arrived, they found Brian Williams in his front yard, standing a few feet from where his sister lay dead near a bloody knife.
The teen died at the scene of about 20 stab wounds a short time later, police said.
Inside the house, officers found the body of Donna Williams face-down in Briana's bedroom. She also had been knifed repeatedly.
The weapon was believed to be a kitchen knife, according to police.
Brian Williams surrendered to police peacefully and was arrested on suspicion of two counts of murder. He faces 52 years to life in prison if convicted.
Authorities have disclosed no motive for the slayings.
On the urging of a defense attorney, a judge ordered the defendant to undergo an evaluation to determine if he is mentally competent to stand trial. The lawyer told reporters his client had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, but was not undergoing treatment at the time of the slayings.
Williams, who joined the San Diego Police Department in June 1980, had worked in the SDPD Child Abuse Unit for 22 years. Her supervisors have praised her as a "cornerstone" of the division.
Besides the defendant, the longtime officer is survived by a daughter, Dekenya Williams, stepson Howard C. Williams III, stepdaughter Tiffany Williams-Lincoln, and her mother, Gladys Brown.
Briana Williams, a softball enthusiast called Bree by her friends, had planned to attend a San Francisco design college on a full scholarship this fall.