It was a murder that stunned a community. A husband, enraged by his wife's decision to leave him, stabbed her to death. Now, that man will pay for the life lost.
Michael Williams, 52, will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Nearly two years after the July 8, 2014 murder of his wife Tanganyika Williams, Michael learned his fate. He will spend 56 years to life in prison.
Family and friends gathered at the courthouse to hear the sentence handed down to Williams. As the family tries to rebuild their lives after this tragedy, they’ve learned that it will be a slow grieving process.
David Williams, 6, likes to talk about his “Grandma Tang.” In the living room of his Elk Grove house, the child looks at pictures of his Grandma. The photos are memories of Tonganyika Williams, moments frozen in time.
David describes losing a tooth a few days ago, one of many moments he will never share with his grandmother.
"I used to play with her, she would make me laugh,” said Williams.
For Tanganyika’s son David Williams, Jr., his mother’s death is still as raw as the day her life was taken.
“I didn't believe it,” said David, “ I didn't believe it until I actually saw her body at the viewing.”
Okyika Lucero is Tanganyika’s niece. She recalls the day she found out about her aunt’s murder.
“As soon as I was told she was stabbed I said you guys need to look for her husband because he did it,” said Lucero. “I instantly knew that it was him.”
The Williams family made sure their presence was felt at the sentencing. They wanted their voices heard. As a tribute to their beloved family member, a video and pictures played in court.
“The last video that David showed was them cutting their wedding cake and how much fun they had,” said Lucero.
It’s a video that the family hopes will haunt Michael Williams, and remind him of the life he stole.
For the family the sentencing is closure. A chance to rebuild and remember Tanganyika Williams.
“My Auntie Tang was a wonderful spirit and she will be missed,” said Lucero.
Williams has a history of violence dating back to 1992. He was convicted for intent for shooting with intent to kill in Oklahoma after shooting his previous wife’s mother in the face.