Date of Crime


Jefferson Parish, LA Kevin Williams Oct 6, 1985 (Kenner)

Kevin Williams was convicted of the armed robbery of a 7-Eleven convenience store.  Two 18 to 20-year-old black males robbed the store of $15 at about 10:54 p.m.  One held a gun while the other took money from the cash register.  The cashier called police and her call was logged in at 10:56 p.m.  Two teenagers had seen the robbers flee in a brown car.  At 11:06 p.m., police stopped Williams and his friend Ernest Brown about 1 1/2 miles from the crime scene.  They were driving a brown car of similar description as that of the robbers.  The cashier identified the 28-year-old Williams as being the unarmed robber.  She cleared Brown of involvement.  Neither man had any money or gun on them, but police found two six-packs of Pepsi in the car.

Shortly before being stopped by the police, Williams spent the last of his money buying gas at a nearby Exxon station.  Unbeknownst to Williams, Brown had stolen the Pepsi from the gas station.  A cashier at the Exxon station had seen Brown take the Pepsi while Williams was paying for his gas.  She had called police shortly after the crime and estimated that the two men drove away at 10:45 p.m.

It took 9 to 11 minutes to drive from the Exxon station to the 7-Eleven (7 minutes if one caught all the traffic lights).  Thus, by the Exxon cashier's estimate, Williams had time to rob the 7-Eleven at 10:54 p.m.  Police, however, refused to refine the estimate by revealing the exact time the cashier reported the Pepsi theft.  They had no trouble noting the exact time when the 7-Eleven cashier reported that store's armed robbery.

According to the police, Williams dropped Brown off after 10:45 p.m., picked up an armed gunman, robbed the 7-Eleven, dropped off the gunman, picked up Brown, and remained within 1 1/2 miles of the crime scene when he was stopped by police at 11:06 p.m.  This theory is a complicated and unlikely 20-minute series of events.

According to Brown, the 7-Eleven cashier was uncertain about her identification of Williams, but she denied she was uncertain at trial.  The Exxon cashier was never called to testify.  Although Brown readily admitted the Pepsi theft, neither he nor Williams was charged with that crime.  Williams was sentenced to 50 years in prison for being an unarmed participant in a $15 robbery.

In Oct. 2006, the Louisiana Parole Board paroled Williams after he served 21 years in prison.  Although factual innocence is not grounds for parole, privately the Board members expressed their belief that Williams was innocent.  (CM)  [1/08]



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