Denny assailant gets 10 years in jail

December 08, 1993|By Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES -- Damian Williams, convicted of throwing a brick that struck trucker Reginald O. Denny in the head during the opening hours of the Los Angeles riots last year, was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in jail -- the maximum term for that attack and for assaults on four other people.

With credit for time served, Williams could be released in less than four years.

Superior Court Judge John W. Ouderkirk, who called Williams' crimes "exceptionally violent," said that although Williams had apologized to his victims, "his statement of remorse does not ring true." The judge noted that Williams had performed a "victory dance" and had spit on Mr. Denny after throwing the brick.

Judge Ouderkirk, who played videotapes of Williams' attacks on each of the victims before imposing sentence, told the 20-year-old defendant: "Mr. Williams, it is intolerable in this society to attack or maim people because of their race."

Williams, who is black, was convicted of mayhem in October for his role in the attack on Mr. Denny, who is white, and of misdemeanor assaults on three Latinos and an Asian-American. The April 29, 1992, attack came at the start of the riots, which were the most destructive in U.S. history.

As he left the crowded courtroom, Williams turned to his supporters, smiled and briefly raised his arms.

The Los Angeles Police Department went on modified tactical alert overnight but no incidents related to the sentencing were reported.

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