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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Los Angeles County prosecutors charged an alleged gang member with murder Tuesday in the slaying of the eldest sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, as investigators continued to search for as many as four other suspects.

Aaron Michael Hammer, 24, appeared briefly in a Compton courtroom Tuesday for his arraignment, which was delayed until Sept. 23, in the killing of 31-year-old Yetunde Price. Watching in silence was Price's stepfather, Richard Williams, whose coaching helped turn Serena and Venus Williams into two of the most dominant tennis players in history.

Williams, who wore a white tennis shirt and kept a cellular phone cord dangling off his cheek, declined to comment to the press.

Hammer, meanwhile, appeared in his blue-and-yellow county jail pajamas. He clearly answered "Yes, I do, your honor," when Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge John J. Cheroske asked him if he agreed to postpone the arraignment.

Hammer, according to investigators, was outside a suspected drug house in south Compton early Sunday morning when Price, 31, and Rolland Wormley drove by in her white GMC Yukon Denali.

Detectives allege that Hammer and others opened fire after a confrontation between those in the SUV and the people in the yard, Sheriff's Homicide Capt. Frank Merriman said. Detectives believe that at least one other person fired at the SUV.

Sheriff's deputies who responded to gunshots in the neighborhood did not see what happened. But Merriman said detectives have information from witnesses that allowed them to persuade prosecutors to press charges against Hammer, who also was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

"We are still trying to determine what happened before the shooting," Merriman said. "At some point we'll have a better idea what happened; even in court sometimes it cannot be said absolutely what led to a shooting.

"What matters ultimately is who did it and not why," he said.

Investigators believe that an assault weapon recovered from the backyard may be connected to Price's slaying. A law enforcement official familiar with the case said that in addition to Hammer, another gang member was believed to be involved in the shooting.

The fate of Wormley, the driver of the SUV, remained unclear Tuesday. The 28-year-old, who police said is a gang member, remained in custody Tuesday evening on suspicion of violating his parole, based on his actions that night.

Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections, said Wormley would remain in custody pending further investigation into the incident. Sheriff's detectives have requested that Wormley's parole be revoked but have refused to specify what he did to justify such an action.

Since his detention Sunday, Wormley has spoken on the telephone with family members at least twice, said Roni Miller, his half sister.

In those calls, Miller said, Wormley insisted that he and Price never argued with people outside the house. In fact, she said, Wormley said he never stopped the SUV.

"There was never a confrontation," said Miller, 30. "They didn't know anyone in that neighborhood."

Miller said Wormley gave the following account of the fatal evening in his phone calls home:

On Saturday night, he was hanging out at a Compton park near Wilmington Avenue and West Laurel Street with friends. Price, with whom he had gotten engaged in August, was hanging out with his family at the apartment Wormley shares with them.

Price called Wormley and said she was going to pick him up, Miller said. When she arrived at the park, they decided that he would drive because she had consumed alcohol earlier in the evening, Miller said.

The couple began driving back to Wormley's Long Beach apartment, which is about seven miles away. They decided to drive east along West Greenleaf Boulevard because it is a fast surface street. The shooting occurred without warning, according to Miller's account, as they drove by the house on the 1100 block.

"He said they had the music up and they were talking to each other, and the next thing they heard was shots going off," Miller said. "He said it looked like fire through the back window, and it shattered. So he stepped on the gas."

Miller said Wormley didn't realize that Price had been shot until he got to Long Beach Boulevard a few blocks away. He decided to drive her to his apartment. There, Price frantically banged on the door and shouted for relatives, who called 911, Miller said. She was declared dead at the hospital less than a hour later.When Miller returned to the apartment about 3.a.m., she said, police were everywhere. The SUV was parked on the street, with the back window shattered and blood on the passenger door.

Wormley has been in and out of jail since 1996 when he did time for petty theft. In September 1999, he pleaded no contest to unlawful firearms activity and received a year in county jail.

But by August 2001, he was back in court pleading no contest to felony sale of marijuana. He was sentenced to 16 months for a case involving receiving stolen goods.

Wormley was released from state prison in May 2002, but returned in September of that year for violating his parole. He was released again in April and was still on parole at the time of the shooting.

On Tuesday, Miller and other family members said they were convinced that Wormley was an innocent victim. Another sister, Carmelle Wormley, 33, said her brother had "changed his life completely."
 

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"Miller said Wormley didn't realize that Price had been shot until he got to Long Beach Boulevard a few blocks away. He decided to drive her to his apartment."

Right! He didn't notice she'd been shot in the head? I guess they didn't tend to talk much while driving.

I think it's kind of obvious. He was a convicted drug drealer on parole who got shot at while in front of a drug house and he knew they'd violate him in a heart beat if they caught him there.

So rather than calling an ambulance or racing her to a hospital himself, he just drove her to somebody's house.

And he just happened to be driving by that drug house after midnight. Yeah, I believe that, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think that must be a mistake when they said Price banged on the door and shouted for relatives. I think it must have been Wormley shouting for relatives since it was his relatives who lived there.
 

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thanks for posting.

yeah, when they wrote Price they must have meant Wormly. I wonder if the cops have his phone calls with his sister wired or if she voluntarily gave this info to the press?
 

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the plot thickens...

all these scenarios are pissing me off.
 

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I really think that guy knows more than he is saying. Too many things just don't add up in his story.

How can you have someone in your car that has been shot in the head or the chest and not know it until you drive a few blocks away?

I find it hard to believe that in this day in age there wasn't a cell phone availiable for him to call emergency services for help. Or he could have al least driven her over to the hospital.

Why was she the only one shot?

They need to keep him in jail until they find out more about this story. I think he knows a lot more than he is admitting to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
robrich said:
thanks for posting.

yeah, when they wrote Price they must have meant Wormly. I wonder if the cops have his phone calls with his sister wired or if she voluntarily gave this info to the press?
She gave the information to the press. I read that somewhere else, but that account wasn't as detailed as this one.
 

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she wasn't there, so how would she know. it's not even a PRIMARY source. I want a first-hand account of what went down not some 'oh it's not really this it's that' from a person that's obviously biased.

I'm afraid we won't get one because the only person who truly knew what went down and wouldn't skew it a certain way to save their hide is dead.
 

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cariosity said:
I'm afraid we won't get one because the only person who truly knew what went down and wouldn't skew it a certain way to save their hide is dead.
Too true :sad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
There are a lot of conflicts between this account and the accounts of witnesses... i.e. shots, then car peeling out. If you are not stopped there is no peeling out. But eyewitness accounts aren't always reliable either.

Police will have a lot more evidence. They have the trajectory of the bullet or bullets from the autopsy. They will also be able to see any bullet holes to the car. If there are multiple bullets they'll be able to acertain whether they came from the same weapon. From the pictures of the scene, it looked as if they were marking casings on the street.

If the shooter talks, and many times shooters have too much loyality/are too afraid to talk, that will also add to the picture. Wormley might change his story too.

We will just have to wait and see until all the pieces are put together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
And, of course, no one will ever really know what happened. Even if Yetunde were alive, her account might be skewed as well. She might have herself or someone else to protect. The physical evidence is usually more reliable than what people say.

But what people say happened when compared to the physical evidence is always interesting.
 

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obviously, forensics is more reliable than what people say and it's fascinating; CSI isn't popular for no reason.

Forensics is a time-consuming process which doesn't much matter to those intimately involved. The fact is, Yetunde's dead and finding out how she died, won't bring her back so that's a moot point.

It's interesting to see who will go down for this shameful act.

We know somebody's lying and I can't wait to find out who.

I can't believe, if convicted, Hammer could get parole. Bullshit!
 

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this doesn't make any sense either.....

Price called Wormley and said she was going to pick him up, Miller said. When she arrived at the park, they decided that he would drive because she had consumed alcohol earlier in the evening, Miller said.
If she didn't feel comfortable driving then why did she drive to go pick him up? That seems like a made up story to explain why he was behind the wheel of her car and not her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
cariosity said:
obviously, forensics is more reliable than what people say and it's fascinating; CSI isn't popular for no reason.

Forensics is a time-consuming process which doesn't much matter to those intimately involved. The fact is, Yetunde's dead and finding out how she died, won't bring her back so that's a moot point.

It's interesting to see who will go down for this shameful act.

We know somebody's lying and I can't wait to find out who.

I can't believe, if convicted, Hammer could get parole. Bullshit!
You can only get to parole if you have been sentenced first to jail/prison. Parole is imposed as a condition of early release from a sentence. So your saying that he could get parole..... well, yeah, lots of people who shoot others (given the circumstances ya da ya da ya da) get paroled at some point.
 

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starr, you're kind of stating the obvious. :)

I think it's wrong, for anyone, who commits murder, first, second, third, fourth, WHATEVER time, could get parole. THAT is my point.

and yes he is a suspect but he could be someone that the police chose to say 'hey look, we're good, we got somebody!'
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Really? Any kind of homicide? No one should get parole? I think there are many circumstances where someone should get parole even if guilty of a homicide.

One of the problems with prison time in the U.S. is that hugely long sentences are imposed. Then with the idea of controlling the prison population, the prospect of parole is dangled so that prisoners will behave in hopes of getting parole. Thus, those that have the hope of parole, are trying to play the game, but those who have no hope for parole have no real incentive other than not being in lock down.
 
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