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Fox News
Fox News
22 Apr 2023

The sister of Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard has been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for the killing of an elderly woman at the Pechanga Resort Casino in 2019. 

Kimesha Williams, who is Leonard’s sister, and Candace Townsell were sentenced on Friday for the killing of Afaf Assad, an 84-year-old Long Beach, California, woman, according to The Press Enterprise in Riverside, CA. 

Kawhi Leonard talks to the media

Kawhi Leonard, #2 of the LA Clippers, talks to the media during a press conference after round one game one of the 2023 NBA Playoffs against the Phoenix Suns on April 16, 2023, at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

The two women were convicted in February of first-degree murder, robbery and elder abuse following a lengthy trial. 


Assad was found unconscious on the floor of a Pechanga Resort Casino bathroom with a cracked skull in 2019. 

Williams and Townsell were reportedly at the casino on Aug. 31, 2019, when Assad entered with her husband and a purse containing around $1,000 for gambling, according to the publication.

Assad went into the bathroom, where Williams followed her, and Townsell kept lookout. 

A woman in another stall heard a thud, and Williams and Townsell made a "beeline" to the casino exit. 

Kawhi Leonard looks on from the bench during a playoff game

Kawhi Leonard, center, of the LA Clippers looks on from the bench in street clothes against the Phoenix Suns in the first half of game 3 of a first-round NBA playoff basketball game at the Arena in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 20, 2023.  (Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

Assad was found by a custodian and the woman who heard the thud on the floor of the bathroom, with her head bleeding and her skull fractured. 

Assad died four days later, and the purse was never found. 

In a statement read to the court by her attorney, Williams denied killing Assad. 

"I am so sorry for your loss," Williams wrote, according to The Press Enterprise. "I have been praying for you and your family every day. I am not responsible for the death of Mrs. Assad. Although the courts have found me guilty of the charges, we all know the truth, and that there is one judge, and that is God, and that he knows the truth."

Mary Assad, the daughter of Afaf Assad, read a victim-impact statement to the court. 

Kawhi Leonard looks to pass

Kawhi Leonard, #2 of the LA Clippers, looks to pass against Devin Booker, #1 of the Phoenix Suns, during the first half Game One of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs at Footprint Center on April 16, 2023, in Phoenix, Arizona. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

"This has been a long, painful journey through the criminal court justice system," Mary Assad read to the court. "I still can’t believe my mother was the victim of a violent crime. . . . Part of me died in that hospital room with her.

"My father is without his wife and partner and is isolated and alone in a way we cannot begin to understand. . . . We seek not vengeance but there needs to be a reckoning for their heinous act," Assad said.

Williams was banned from entering the Pechanga Resort Casino in 2015 for stealing a wallet.

Joe Morgan is a Sports Reporter for Fox News.