Joseph Williams sentenced to 18 years in prison

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Joseph Williams

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — A Milwaukee County judge sentenced 22-year-old Joseph Williams on Friday, September 27th to 18 years in prison plus another eight years of extended supervision. Williams pleaded guilty in June for the shooting death of Diamaris Gonzalez.

Gonzalez was shot and killed on March 15, 2011 while waiting for a bus. She had just finished work at Lena’s Food Market when the crime occurred. Gonzalez normally drove to work, but her car was towed the day before. That forced her to use the bus for the first time.

The criminal complaint against Williams says he gave a statement to a Milwaukee Police detective on Thursday, February 14th. In the statement, Williams said he and another man decided to rob Gonzalez on March 15th. Williams told the detective he and the other person were each armed with a handgun. Williams was to be the lookout while the other man robbed Gonzalez.

The criminal complaint states Williams “stood by and watched as the other man demanded property from the victim and struggled with the victim as she resisted.” Williams said the other person shot Gonzalez at a bus shelter and they fled to Williams’ residence.

Latrail Putnam was a close friend and was with Gonzalez the night she died.  Putnam says he met Gonzalez after her shift and they walked together to the nearby bus stop.  Putnam walked away for a moment and then heard Gonzalez call his name in a frightened voice.  He turned back toward her and immediately heard the gunshot.

“She was a great person.  Everyone was really in love with her.  She was an angel,” said Putnam.

Putnam says Gonzalez fell into his arms and he held her on the sidewalk.

“It was very devastating because I could not help her,” said Putnam.

That night motivated Putnam to become a doctor.  He’s now in school pursuing a medical degree.

Williams told the detective he and the other person did not get anything from Gonzalez during the robbery.

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