Imani Charles Williams 27
Convict with drug history charged in murder, assault
April 14 killing - A DNA sample also linked Imani Charles Williams to a burglary last year
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
A 27-year-old man accused in the April 14 killing of Sharvettia Monique Brown, whose body was found off Northeast Lombard Street, was arraigned Monday on a murder charge, as well as burglary and first-degree assault charges stemming from two unrelated cases in 2006.
After his arrest Friday night, police say, a DNA sample linked Imani Charles Williams to a Feb. 4, 2006, burglary in the 2700 block of Northeast Bryant Street and a March 17, 2006, first-degree assault of a woman.
Detectives also confiscated a vehicle that was involved in the homicide.
Witness information helped detectives identify Williams as a suspect in Brown's killing. Central Precinct officers found Williams in the area of Northwest Second Avenue and Northwest Davis Street at 6:53 p.m. Friday and took him into custody.
A caller reported finding Brown's body in the 1800 block of Northeast Lombard Street at 4:17 a.m. With the help of witnesses, police connected the homicide to an earlier call from the 1000 block of Northeast Stafford Street, where people reported hearing sounds of a fight and a woman screaming at 4:07 a.m. The callers said a vehicle appeared to be involved.
An autopsy showed Brown died of blunt force trauma.
Brown's boyfriend lives about three blocks from where her body was found.
Portland police Officer Cathe Kent said Williams and Brown had just met that day. Police declined to discuss a motive in the killing.
Williams had a history of drug abuse and prior convictions for theft, criminal mischief and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and at least 11 failures to appear in court in Multnomah County since November 2005, according to court records. In court documents, Williams told authorities he came to Portland from California in November 2005, was kicked out of his aunt's house because of drug use and has been unemployed. In 2006 court records, Williams acknowledged using crack cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.
In mid-December, he was arrested and accused of breaking into a car on Northeast Liberty Street and trying to steal a stereo from the vehicle.
Detectives do not believe anyone else was involved in the killing and suspect a weapon was used in the beating. They hope to hear from other potential witnesses before releasing more details on the homicide.
Investigators are asking anyone who may have seen either Brown or Williams before Brown's death to contact Detective Jon Rhodes at 503-823-0459 or Detective Lynn Courtney at 503-823-0451.
Police: Murder suspect out of jail only hours before killing
Monday, April 23, 2007
By DREW MIKKELSEN, kgw.com Staff
Just 14 hours after being released from jail on a stolen car charge, Imani Williams beat Sharvettia Brown to death and dumped her body on a Portland street, according to police.
Williams had finished served a two-month sentence for the February car theft.
Police have not released a motive for the killing. Investigators said Brown and Williams did not know each other before the day of the murder.
Brown, a Portland mother of two, died from blunt force trauma. A neighbor found her on Northeast 18th and Lombard Place shortly after four in the morning April 14.
She had been so badly beaten, investigators originally thought she had been hit by a drunk driver. Her injuries were so severe, police were unable to identify her race.
"People are mad at themselves and the world," said Patsy Spellman, Brown's grandmother, "That's the devil himself. He's right here among us, believe that."
Sharvetta Brown had two sons and a daughter.
After police arrested Williams, they took a DNA sample. Detectives say his DNA matched samples left behind at an assault and burglary in Portland earlier this year.
DNA links Ore. murder suspect to Calif. killing
Friday, May 4, 2007
A man accused of beating a Portland woman to death has been linked by DNA tests to the slaying of a California high school girl, police said Thursday.
Evelyna LeBlanc, 15, was sexually assaulted, shot in the head, and left half-naked and bleeding on the grounds of an elementary school in San Leandro, Calif., near Oakland, on Nov. 5, 1994.
Detectives said the DNA test links Imani Charles Williams, 27, to the LeBlanc death. He was 14 and attending a Catholic high school in Oakland at the time.
Williams has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder, murder, kidnapping, robbery and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in the April 14 death of Sharvettia Monique Brown of Portland.
The DNA tests also linked Williams to a discarded cigarette butt from a Portland burglary and a shoe left behind from the March 2006 assault and stabbing of a Portland woman who survived, police said.
The mother of the California girl, Arlene LeBlanc-Gibson, told The Oregonian newspaper in Portland that she never gave up hope.
"I have a picture of my daughter in the living room here," LeBlanc-Gibson, 57, said from her Oakland home. "I would always tell her every day, 'We'll get him baby ... just send me some signs."'
Williams will be charged in the girl's killing, according to California police, who praised the Oregon investigators.
"It sent chills up your spine. It was very satisfying," San Leandro police Lt. Tom Overton said. " I was honored to be able to meet with Evelyna's mother and stepfather, and give them the news."
Portland Murder Suspect Linked To 1994 Calif. Slaying
May 4, 2007
DNA tests have linked a man accused in the beating death of a Portland woman to the slaying of a California teenager, according to police.
Police said the tests link 27-year-old Imani Charles Williams to a 15-year-old girl who was found sexually assaulted and shot in the head near Oakland in 1994.
Williams has pleaded not guilty in the April slaying of Sharvetta Monique Brown in Portland.
The DNA tests also linked Williams to a Portland burglary and a March 2006 stabbing of a Portland woman who survived.
DNA Break In Cold Case San Leandro Murder
May 3, 2007
SAN LEANDRO -- Using the latest DNA technology, San Leandro authorities have announced a break in the brutal 1994 cold case murder of 15-year-old Evelyna Le Blanc.
According to police, DNA evidence has indicated that 27-year-old Imani Charles Williams of Oakland -- who is currently in jail in Oregon -- is a suspect in Le Blanc's murder.
Arlene LeBlanc-Gibson described her daughter as being "attractive on the outside and also on the inside," was a petite, fair-complexioned African American with big dark eyes and hair to her shoulders.
She was last seen alive coming back from a high school football game on November 5, 1994 on an AC Transit bus. LeBlanc-Gibson said the bus driver saw Evelyna talking to a man she did not appear to know well.
According to San Leandro Lt. Tom Overton, police surmise that Evelyna got off the bus in San Leandro with the suspect and walked with him towards her friend's house where she had planned on staying that night.
Overton said it was a rainy night and the pair took a short cut through the grounds of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. It was on the grounds of the school that Evelyna was shot in the head before being sexually assaulted, according to Overton.
Police found Evelyna behind some portable classrooms when they arrived to investigate an alarm that went off at the school. Overton said police could not find footprints due to the weather, "but there were some drag marks from her heels."
The teenager may have set off the alarm since she was writhing against a school fence when found by police, according to LeBlanc-Gibson.
Her mother was told that when Evelyna was initially approached she was afraid of the officer and "she cringed and whispered something."
According to LeBlanc-Gibson, the officer that found Evelyna covered her because she was naked from the waist down.
Evelyna was taken to Mount Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, but she died of her injuries the next day.
Despite the tragedy of Evelyna's death, LeBlanc-Gibson said she was "elated" when she learned police had found a suspect.
"I have been on the phone calling my family and close friends letting them know. I never gave up on San Leandro police, I knew from day one that they were working the case"
"Evelyna would be 27 today, she would be 28 on September 14," said LeBlanc-Gibson, who buried Evelyna in Southern California near her uncle with whom she was close.
Williams is currently being held in Portland Ore. He was indicted Friday on two counts of homicide, one attempted homicide and other felony charges all originating in Oregon.
Detectives from the San Leandro Police Department were in Portland to work with local police in the investigation of Evelyna's murder.
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