Wrongful Death Lawsuit Alleges Negligence in Response to Former Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy Frightening Behavior

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Alleges Negligence in Response to Former Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy Frightening Behavior

A wrongful death lawsuit filed this summer claims that a former Alameda County sheriff’s deputy, Devin Williams Jr., allegedly killed a married couple in Dublin last year after they reported his frightening behavior to the county. The couple, Maria Tran and Benison Tran, both employed by the county, had contacted law enforcement a month prior to their deaths, expressing fear for their safety. However, the lawsuit alleges that the county failed to take any action.

On August 8, 2022, Williams went to Maria Tran’s home on Colebrook Lane, demanding to talk after she attempted to end their personal relationship. The couple called for help, stating their fear, but the responding law enforcement officer allegedly gave Williams preferential treatment due to his employment as a sheriff’s deputy.

Tragically, on September 7, 2022, Maria and Benison Tran were found with gunshot wounds to the head and neck at their home. Williams was identified as a suspect and later surrendered to the California Highway Patrol. He is alleged to have used his service weapon in the commission of the crime.

Family members of the victims argue that if Williams had been stripped of his badge and gun after the incident in August, Maria and Benison might still be alive. They also claim that Williams was one of approximately 47 deputies who failed psychological screening exams during an audit conducted after his arrest.

Former Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern, who lost his re-election bid last year, and the current sheriff, Yesenia Sanchez, are listed as defendants in the civil suit, along with Alameda County and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. The lawsuit includes allegations of wrongful death, negligence, assault, battery, and infliction of emotional distress.

The plaintiffs’ lead attorney, Christopher Dolan, expressed concern that the district attorney may drop enhancements associated with the use of a firearm in order to secure a plea deal for Williams. The family hopes that the case will not become a political bargaining chip.

Williams has been charged with two counts of murder and pleaded not guilty to all charges in December.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office has faced criticism in the past, leading the Bay Area in payouts for wrongful death and excessive force between 2015 and 2020, according to Sanchez’s 2022 campaign website.

Author: CrimeDoor

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