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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Damian Williams Pleads Not Guilty to Murder Charge

September 16, 2000

LOS ANGELES — Damian "Football" Williams, who spent four years in jail for attacking trucker Reginald Denny during the 1992 riots, pleaded not guilty Friday to murder and robbery charges in connection with a Southwest Los Angeles slaying.

Williams, 27, could face the death penalty for the July 18 shooting, because prosecutors have filed a special circumstance allegation of murder during a robbery.

Co-defendant Tyrone David "T" Killingsworth also pleaded not guilty plea to murder and was held without bail.

According to an 11-felony complaint, Killingsworth, a 34-year-old with convictions for bank robbery and rape, killed 43-year-old Grove Tinner at a West Gage Avenue drug house. Killingsworth pulled the trigger, the complaint alleges. Early police descriptions of the incident had Williams firing the shot.

Prosecutors say that under California law, a person committing a crime that results in a homicide can be charged with murder, even if he or she didn't actually do the killing.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday September 26, 2000 Home Edition Metro Part B Page 3 Metro Desk 1 inches; 28 words Type of Material: Correction
Slaying victim--In stories Sept. 2 and 16 about a slaying in which Damian "Football" Williams has been charged, the name and age of the victim were incorrect. The man killed was Grover Tinner Jr., 48.

Los Angeles police said the shooting occurred after an argument between Williams and Tinner.

Through a lawyer, Williams has denied the charges. Shortly after the shooting last month, he surrendered to police. He has been held since then for violating his parole in the Denny case.

Even before the murder charges were filed, the case spurred controversy.

A coalition of African American religious and community leaders demanded Williams' release from jail, arguing that the evidence against him was thin.

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