Back in 2008, Kamal Williams was arrested on charges of robbing a man who was mowing his lawn in North Miami-Dade.
Two years later, the victim, Guilbert Cruz-Reyes, sat down for a deposition with the suspect’s defense lawyers. Within two days of that deposition in April 2010, Cruz-Reyes again became a victim — when Williams’ associates unleashed a brazen night-time attack, firing 46 rounds into the home and killing the man’s cousin.
The brazen case of witness retaliation concluded this week for Williams when he pleaded guilty to a host of charges, including murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The sentence: 40 years in prison. He is already serving a 25-year prison term for the 2008 original robbery.
“For Kamal, it was a good deal because it’s only 15 years more than the first sentence,” said his latest defense lawyer, David S. Markus. “He had been facing life in prison.”
Prosecutors said Williams, 27, arranged the attack from behind bars using the jail phones, mail and visits with his associates.
Cruz-Reyes was not hit, but his cousin, Wilfredo Urbina — who was visiting from Honduras — was hit and killed. He had been in the country less than 48 hours.
Another man charged in the attack, Lonnie Jones, 31, also pleaded to conspiracy to commit murder and tampering with a witness. He is awaiting sentencing and faces between 12 and 30 years behind bars.
Still awaiting trial for the murder is Hasan Williams, Kamal’s brother, and a man named Sabian Godfrey.
The Williams siblings are well known to police and prosecutors. A brother, Wayne Williams, is serving 17 years in prison for a horrific double-murder carjacking in Miami Gardens in July 2011. Their sister, Muneerah Williams, 24, also pleaded guilty for her role and is also facing a murder charge for the 2010 slaying of a pregnant woman, Nekeshia Williams. Godfrey also is charged in that murder and is awaiting trial.