Prelim hearing in Point Loma slaying set for June 26
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 03/30/19 - 08:51 AM | 2348 views | 0 0 comments | 75 75 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A judge on March 26 set a preliminary hearing for June 26 for a man suspected of shooting a woman to death on West Point Loma Boulevard last October.

Octavia Williams, 20, was shot once in the head around 11:40 p.m. on Oct. 9, 2018, in the 4000 block of West Point Loma Boulevard outside a pizza place in a shopping center. 

Joe Bennette Conway, 42, has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge. He was arrested in Arizona and was extradited here Jan. 31 after a no-bail warrant was issued for his arrest.

Conway appeared March 26 before San Diego Superior Court Judge Laura Halgren. His attorney requested a delay in the hearing which Halgren granted. Conway has waived his right to have a speedy hearing.

A witness told police he saw the couple embracing in the parking lot, but then heard the woman scream "No, no, no!" before the single shot was fired, according to court records.

Another witness was in his vehicle waiting for his shift to start. The witness told police he heard the gunshot and saw a man running.

Conway and Williams have a history together in Texas. Both were accused of living in an abandoned house in Austin, Texas, and the house's owner complained to police there in 2016.

Security surveillance cameras showed Williams and a man believed to be Conway standing at 11:40 p.m. in the parking lot. Williams is seen collapsing to the ground after the single gunshot while the man runs towards a vehicle, according to the arrest warrant declaration.

The man is seen driving out of the parking lot at a high rate of speed with its lights off. The driver does not stop at the intersection and turns onto West Point Loma Boulevard.

A DNA hit was obtained from a cigarette butt recovered from the sidewalk in front of the pizza restaurant, court records say. It matches a profile of Conway. A booking photo of Conway from 2017 from Maricopa County, Arizona strongly matches him, according to the declaration.

The surveillance video shows Williams walking into the pizza restaurant at 10:52 p.m. and appears to be waiting for someone. A man believed to be Conway enters the restaurant shortly afterwards. Video shows the man throwing a cigarette stub onto the ground before he goes inside.

The couple leave together and she is shot minutes later. Williams had apparently given birth somewhat recently before her death, according to the County medical examiner's office.

Conway remains in the central jail without bail.
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