Darnell Williams was sentenced to the death penalty Wednesday after being convicted on two counts of first-degree murder for the 2013 killings of 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine and 22-year-old Anthony Medearis.
The jury also found Williams guilty on seven additional counts — including of attempted murder and assault — and, in June, returned a penalty verdict of death. The prosecution pleaded for this sentence because of the nature of Williams’ crimes and his continued violence in prison.
Williams murdered Carradine in July 2013 at her friend’s home in Oakland, where she was having a sleepover. About two months later, Williams shot and killed Medearis during an attempted robbery. While in custody, Williams allegedly started a fight in the Folsom State Prison yard in 2014 and was found in possession of a deadly weapon in his cell.
“I will never see my first and only daughter graduate this year, I will never get to see her go to prom, I will never get to see her off to college,” said Chiquita Carradine, Alaysha Carradine’s mother, in a statement read at the trial. “Please give this man the death penalty to stop him and others like him from taking our precious gifts away.”
The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has not sought the death penalty since current District Attorney Nancy O’Malley took office in 2011.
Deborah Levy, one of Williams’ defense lawyers during the case, said life imprisonment without parole would have been a sufficient sentence.
“My client was very young, he had an incredibly horrible upbringing,” Levy said. “I’m not saying it justifies it, but I think it explains it, and it is a very good reason not to execute him.”
According to a guide from the California Attorney General’s Office, anyone sentenced to death is entitled to an automatic direct appeal to the California Supreme Court. The appeal date for Williams’ case is yet to be determined.
“I honestly don’t know whether the death penalty deters others from committing murder,” said Assistant District Attorney John Brouhard at the sentencing hearing. “But I do know that, when this defendant is executed, he will no longer be a threat to anyone in any community.”