The double homicide that took place earlier this month in a Dublin, California subdivision has sent shockwaves across the law-enforcement community — and sent a cadre of state inspectors to examine the hiring practices of the sheriff's department for whom the suspect was working.
We know that 24-year-old former Alameda County sheriff's deputy Devin Williams, Jr. likely acted out of passion, and perhaps was not in full control of his faculties. Williams did not pass his psychological evaluation with any flying colors, as we learned this week — and while the department had claimed he passed all of his tests, they neglected to mention he was deemed "unsuited" for the job by the psych evaluator.
The revelation has led to state inspectors descending on the department to investigate why 47 deputies got the same "unsuited" evals were all hired by the department, and then recently put on leave.
Now, via law enforcement sources, the East Bay Times reports on more details about the timeline of the night of the crime and the weeks leading up to it.
The night of September 6th, when Williams allegedly committed his crime, was not the first time he had visited the house of his onetime girlfriend Maria Tran. Tran may have been trying to break things off after having an affair with Williams, and we learn via the Times' sources that she called the cops on him in early August.
On August 8, the East Bay Times reports, "police were called to the Trans’ Colebrook Lane home on a report of a man repeatedly ringing the doorbell."
A female deputy then confronted Williams — the sheriff's department provides police support and staffing for the Dublin Police Department — who said he was also a deputy, and "said he was there to talk to his girlfriend about their relationship and her husband."
Williams's mother has told the media that her son was "blinded by love" and that Tran had portrayed herself as a younger woman and a single mother — not the 42-year-old married woman that, in reality, she was. And the sources suggest Williams had only recently learned that Tran was married.
After the August 8 incident, Williams reportedly also showed up at Tran's place of work, hours before the shooting would take place. Coworkers at John George Psychiatric Hospital in San Leandro say that Williams and Tran had some kind of heated discussion, the details of which Tran did not share. But apparently Tran appeared upset afterwards.
Shortly after midnight that night, Williams returned to the Trans' residence and allegedly broke into or was let into the house. Minutes later, police received a 911 call from Maria Tran's brother, who was in town visiting the family, reporting that a man with a gun had entered the home.
Williams allegedly went to the master bedroom of Maria and Benison Tran, confronting Maria and saying he was not aware that her husband was still in her life. Williams apparently told Mr. Tran to go call the police and that he would leave, and Benison Tran went downstairs to do so. But then, police sources say, Williams shot Tran from the edge of a staircase as he tried to come back up stairs. Maria Tran and her brother then engaged Williams in a struggle to get his gun, and the three of them tumbled down the stairs before Williams also allegedly shot Maria, execution-style. The brother was uninjured, and Williams fled the property.
We know that he next drove to the Central Valley and would later confess to Alameda County Sheriff's Commander Garrett Holmes, who also serves as Dublin's chief of police. Holmes spent 45 minutes on the phone with Williams that morning, who had driven to the Fresno area, and convinced him to turn himself in.
Williams has been in custody ever since in the same jail where he worked security, Santa Rita Jail, in Dublin.
Photo: Getty Images