Last of 3 sentenced in musician’s Christmas Eve killing

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

The grief-stricken mother of Detroit musician Anthony Tolson broke down Wednesday after scolding the last of three men charged in the Christmas Eve carjacking and murder of her son.

“You participated in my son’s demise,” Allison Tolson said during her impact statement at Devan Williams’ sentencing. “Please do not say to me, my family or my friends you are sorry because I don’t want to hear it. I have to go on with my life. My grandchildren are fatherless. All I have now is memories.”

Williams was a national and international musician who toured with some of the music industry’s biggest artists such as Ne-Yo.

Williams said: “At the end of the day, I am sorry. I never drove with the intention of trying to kill that man. I never knew he was going to lose his life that night. To make it worse, he was someone who made it out of Detroit. One of our own who made it out of the city. Whether she believes it or not, I am sorry.”

He added: “If I could take it back, I would.”

Williams, 28, will spend 13-40 years behind bars for his part in the crime outside a grocery store on Gratiot. Testimony indicated 33-year-old Tolson was killed for the rims on his car. He was carjacked when he stopped at the store on his way home from church services to deliver Christmas gifts to his children.

He drove two other men, Darnell Gene-Arthur Young, 19, and Charles Cox, 36, to the crime scene. Williams pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting but said he did not know the other two were going to kill their robbery victim.

Wayne Circuit Judge Craig Strong said: “Blacks Live Matter” except to (defendants) people in this courtroom .What’s more important is rims, gym shoes, cellphones, glasses, things people steal and get killed (for). Although you didn’t pull the trigger you were an aider and abettor. You knew the people you were with had guns.”

Strong further admonished Williams telling him his lengthy criminal shows he has a “poor prognosis” for rehabilitation. “You have been in trouble since you were a juvenile.”

Strong said of Tolson: “It’s another sad day in our community. This young man was a very productive citizen ... a father was doing something with his life. You were part of this group that took his life away. Shame on you.”

Tolson left behind three young children; Amber, 13, Aaron, 12, and William 7.

Allison Tolson was overcome with emotion and later broke down in court after Williams was sentenced.

Like Williams, Young pleaded guilty to the crime and received 35-60 years behind bars. Cox will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole for Tolson’s murder. Williams will get 121 days credit for time spending in the Wayne County jail during his trial. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and felony firearms.

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