FAIRFIELD - Henry Don Williams, who faces a murder charge in the Sept. 1 shooting death of City Councilman Matt Garcia, was arrested Saturday while working at a Las Vegas restaurant under an assumed name.
Fairfield Deputy Police Chief Paul Bockrath announced the arrest, which occurred at 2:40 p.m., saying the effort to catch Williams was led by the U.S. Marshals Service's Los Angeles Regional Taskforce. Las Vegas police and Fairfield detectives also were involved, he added.
Williams was arrested without incident, Bockrath said. The 32-year-old Fairfield man had been described as armed and dangerous by Police Chief Kenton Rainey on Sept. 13, when police named Williams as a suspect and announced the arrests of Gene Allen Combs and Nicole Stewart.
A federal arrest warrant was issued Thursday for Williams, charging him with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, because it was believed he had fled the state or was in the process of fleeing.
Williams, who is being held at the Clark County (Nev.) Detention Facility, is not a stranger to Las Vegas authorities. He was arrested on two felony theft charges in 2003 and ordered to pay $3,200 in restitution, according to Clark County court records.
Later that same year, Williams was arrested for two felony forgery charges. The theft and felony cases were resolved in November 2003 with a plea deal in which Williams received a 12- to 32- month prison sentence.
The two Las Vegas cases led to Williams being sentenced to 16 months in prison in 2004 after he was arrested in San Bernardino County and charged with obstructing an executive officer.
When Williams will return to California depends on whether he contests being extradited or waives his extradition hearing, Bockrath said. If Williams chooses an extradition hearing, Bockrath added, then police will have to wait for that matter to be settled.
Raymond Courtemanche, Garcia's stepfather, expressed his gratitude on the behalf of the family for authorities' efforts in tracking down Williams.
'The arrest of Williams is one more step closer to bringing healing and closure to this community, who loved Matt and believed in a dream for a better Fairfield,' Courtemanche stated in a police press release.
That is a far cry from how members of the family felt Thursday after Solano County District Attorney Dave Paulson announced that Stewart, 33, of Fairfield has been released from Solano County Jail.
Stewart had admitted to driving Williams and Combs, 45, of Suisun City to Silverado Drive in Cordelia Villages on the night of Sept. 1 to collect a narcotics debt. She also told a television reporter that it was Williams, her boyfriend, who exited the car and opened fire on Garcia, 22.
Garcia was shot once in the back of the head.
Paulson defended his decision to release Stewart, who is nine months pregnant, by saying his office was 'not aware of any admissible evidence that proves criminal responsibility on her part.' The district attorney added that Stewart was 'in the company' of his investigators.
Combs was charged Thursday with first-degree murder, did not enter a plea and then accused authorities of arresting the wrong man. Paulson expressed confidence that his office had evidence to support the charge against Combs.
The convictions of Williams and Combs will depend heavily on the 'truthful testimony' by Stewart, Paulson said.
Reach Audrey Wong at 427-6951 or email@example.com.