Alameda County sheriff’s deputy charged with two murders

DUBLIN — An Alameda County Sheriff’s deputy was charged Friday with two counts of murder, one with special circumstances, following the execution-style killings of a married couple in their Dublin home earlier this week, authorities said.

Devin Williams Jr.
Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy Devin Williams, 24, was charged with two counts of murder with special circumstances in the aftermath of the double-fatal shooting of a Dublin married couple, authorities said. 

Devin Williams Jr., 24, is accused of breaking into a house in the 3100 block of Colebrook Lane about 12:45 a.m. Wednesday and fatally shooting 57-year-old Benison Tran and his 42-year-old wife, Maria Tran in the back of the head and neck, according to charging documents from the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

The charge tied to Benison Tran’s murder carries the special circumstances that Williams killed him “to avoid arrest” and that it completed a multiple murder.

“Our hearts and condolences go out to the family, friends and community of the two victims killed in this incident,” District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said in a statement announcing the charges.

Williams was arraigned Friday morning at the East County Hall of Justice.

Dublin police Officer Riley Walter declared in a statement of probable cause that Williams’ father advised detectives that Williams and Maria Tran were in a dating relationship and that she had previously been to his residence in Stockton.

The Trans were pronounced dead at the scene. Nobody else in the house was injured. Four other people were there at the time of the killings, including a child and a relative from out of town who made the 911 call, sheriff’s office spokesman Lt. Ray Kelly said.

According to Walter’s probable-cause statement, one of those people said, “Devin,” and “He’s a cop,” when police officers and sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene.

Detectives reviewed license-plate readers that showed a gray Volkswagen sedan drove south on Fallon Gateway at 12:46 a.m., about one minute after the shooting. Fallon Gateway is the closest main thoroughfare to Interstate 580 from that area of Colebrook Lane.

Detectives checked the registration on the car and found it registered to Williams.

Walter wrote that detectives found shell casings at the scene with “Speer 9mm” inscribed on them, the same ammunition used by the sheriff’s office. He also wrote that detectives listened to the 911 call and believed they heard six gunshots fired on the audio tape.

Two witnesses who knew Williams later identified him out of a sequential photographic lineup, according to Walter. Detectives then authored an arrest warrant for the deputy, who had worked a shift at the jail the evening before the killings.

Williams fled to Fresno County after the shooting and called his superiors from there. He surrendered after a 45-minute conversation with Dublin Police Services Chief and sheriff’s office commander Garrett Holmes. The California Highway Patrol took Williams into custody near Coalinga, a town along Interstate 5 about 150 miles from Dublin.

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