Saturday, August 28, 2010

2 men get life in prison for killing
homeless man in $10 robbery

Vincent Simien died after he was stabbed in the chest by two men who came to a homeless camp to steal money from the people sleeping there.

That night, they stole $10 from another homeless man.

Now Willie Williams, 49, and Sheridan Smith, 36, are facing life in prison without parole.

Judge Thomas Reardon, who said he frequently conducts outreach with the city's homeless community, began to tear up as he sentenced Williams and Smith, saying their crimes were "cruel and vicious."

"It seems to me it was particularly brutal," Reardon said of the men preying on a homeless encampment.

Evidence presented during the trial showed that Smith and Williams walked to the homeless camp in Oakland, California, woke up four people and began to harass them. They took $10 from a man and then stabbed Simien, 39, in the chest with a sword that was outfitted to look like a walking cane.

As Simien lay dying, Smith grabbed his wife and raped her.

Read the Oakland Tribune report here.


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