Since the day her son was murdered, Rosalind Williams has held firm to her belief that Darrent Williams’ killer would be brought to justice. She never lost confidence in the Denver police, even as days turned into weeks, weeks into months and months into almost two years.
Finally, a grand jury has indicted a suspect on murder charges in the drive-by shooting of the Denver Broncos cornerback on New Year’s Day 2007 as he left a Denver nightclub. District Attorney Mitch Morrissey announced Wednesday that Willie D. Clark, 25, faces 39 counts, including first-degree murder.
“I knew it was going to happen,” said Williams, who lives in Fort Worth. “I had trust in the Denver police. This is just the beginning step in getting him behind bars for the rest of his life, so he won’t do this to some other family.”
The Denver Post reported that Clark was one of two people riding in the Chevrolet Tahoe used during the drive-by shooting. The SUV was owned by Brian Kenneth Hicks, who was in custody on an unrelated case in the Denver County Jail at the time of the shooting.
Clark was arrested for a probation violation days after Williams’ killing and now is in federal custody after being indicted in April for unrelated crack-cocaine conspiracy charges, the newspaper reported.
In Wednesday’s indictment, Clark is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, 16 counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree assault, illegal discharge of a firearm, 16 crime of violence counts and two counts of possession of a weapon by a previous offender. He faces life in prison without parole if convicted of the charges, officials said Wednesday.
“There’s another step that we have to go through,” Rosalind Williams said. “We’re looking forward to the trial date and getting the trial done. We don’t want any other family to have to go through this.”
The indictment says Williams and Clark both were at a downtown Denver nightclub, celebrating New Year’s Eve with separate groups of friends when an altercation occurred between members of the two groups. The indictment quotes witnesses as saying Clark followed the rented white Hummer limousine carrying Williams. At least 15 shots were fired into the limo, the indictment says, killing Williams and injuring two other passengers, Nicole Reindl and Brandon Flowers.
Williams was a three-time all-district player at O.D. Wyatt High School, an All-Big 12 player at Oklahoma State, and he had played two seasons for the Broncos. He was 24.
The Darrent Williams Memorial Teen Center, a collaboration between the Broncos and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, opened in a suburb of Denver last year. Rosalind Williams, who hosted the Darrent Williams Fundraising Gala in Fort Worth in June, hopes to raise enough money by 2011 to open a similar facility in Fort Worth.