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Former Alameda deputy pleads not guilty to murdering girlfriend and her husband

Alameda County sheriff's deputy arrested in murders of Dublin couple
Alameda County sheriff's deputy arrested in murders of Dublin couple 02:04

DUBLIN -- Former Alameda County sheriff's deputy Devin Williams Jr. pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he fatally shot his girlfriend and her husband in September.

The 24-year-old Stockton man allegedly shot the couple -- 57-year-old Benison Tran and 42-year-old Maria Tran -- in the head and neck before police responded at 12:45 a.m. Sept. 7 to the couple's house in the 3100 block of Colebrook Lane in Dublin.

Upon arriving, officers found the Trans suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. Medical aid was summoned to the residence, but both were pronounced dead at the scene.

Witnesses identified the shooter as Williams. When deputies arrived, they heard an unknown family member say, "Devin" and "He is a cop." 

Williams allegedly fled after the shootings, but detectives reviewed footage from license-plate readers, which showed a gray Volkswagen sedan with California license plate 6MEA916 traveling south on Fallon Road in Dublin at 12:46 a.m.

 Fallon Road eventually connects the couple's home to Interstate Highway 580.

 Authorities did not have to do much more searching because Williams called Dublin Police Chief Garrett Holmes at 11:07 a.m. to end his flight.

"We received a call from the suspect and he wanted to turn himself in," Holmes said. "And so we were able to have a conversation with him, and during that conversation, we were able to keep him on the phone line and direct the CHP units down to the area near Coalinga and safely take the suspect into custody."  

Just after noon, Williams surrendered to California Highway Patrol officers near Coalinga, 147 miles from Dublin. Court documents said blood was believed to be found in the Volkswagen.

 At the couple's home, detectives found six bullet shell casings of the same kind used by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. Detectives also heard six gunshots when they listened to the 911 call.

His mother, Anitra Williams, told reporters that her son had been in a romantic relationship with Maria Tran and he believed she was unmarried.

Anitra Williams said she had warned her son against being with Tran, whom he had met at John George Psychiatric Hospital in San Leandro, where Tran worked as a nurse. She said the couple had been together since January and her son was "blinded by love."

Detectives also spoke with Devin's father, who advised he was aware that Devin had been in a dating relationship with Maria Tran.

Williams' father told detectives that Williams had been dating Maria Tran, according to court documents. His son has been charged with two counts of special circumstance murder. 

Williams is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. He is scheduled to be in court again Feb. 1 for a pretrial hearing. 

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