By Joe Eskenazi
Last week we wrote about how a bouncer at San Francisco’s SoMa-neighborhood nightclub, Slim’s, is accused of beating a pair of club-goers and hurling one down the stairs.
In that story, we mentioned that Devin M. Williams, who has been in custody since the Oct. 13, 2007 incident, had been convicted and jailed for 90 days in 2000 for brandishing a firearm in the presence of a San Francisco Police Officer, a felony (four charges of attempted murder were dismissed in that case).
Allegations had been made to us about other felony convictions in Williams’ past, but, as of last week, we could not verify them. Well, now we can. According to the charging documents from the San Francisco District Attorney’s office in People of the State of California v. Devin M. Williams (click for more) …
the 39-year-old San Franciscan also has a pair of recent felony convictions in his more immediate past.
According to the charging documents, Williams was convicted of a felony charge of illegally carrying a firearm on Nov. 14, 2005 in Alameda. This conviction came on the heels of an Oct. 31, 2005 conviction in Alameda County of making criminal threats, also a felony. (According to the state penal code, "criminal threats" is defined as when one “willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device is to be taken as a threat …”).
These convictions resulted in prison terms of undisclosed lengths.
While the D.A. is evidently attempting to enhance whatever sentence Williams would receive if found guilty of his current felony charges – assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury – the prior convictions are also of great interest to the parties in the civil case filed vs. Slim’s and Williams by the alleged beating victims.
Slim’s co-owner and general manager Dawn Holliday did not return phone calls for this story, so, as we noted last week, it is uncertain whether the club knew of Williams prior felony convictions. Arnold Laub, the attorney representing aggrieved clubgoers James Paul Leuschner and Steven Rose, said Slim’s is negligent whether it knew or not.
That civil case has a court date on May 16. Meanwhile, the DA’s criminal case vs. Williams has a preliminary hearing tomorrow, on Tuesday, Feb. 19 – where, in the words of DA spokeswoman Erica Terry Derryck, it will be determined “if Mr. Williams will be held to answer on these charges.”