Woman who shot, beat and robbed Somali elder last year sentenced to prison

Following charges in the two robberies, Williams was bailed out by the Minnesota Freedom Fund and was subsequently charged in another felony case.

Da'Seanna Destiny Williams/Minnesota Department of Corrections

A woman who made headlines last year after brutally beating, shooting and robbing a Somali elder for the rent money she carried in her purse has been sentenced to 58 months in prison as part of a plea deal.

The crime was one of two violent robberies involving Da’Seanna Destiny Williams on Jan. 2, 2021, included in the plea deal.

Following charges in the two robberies, Williams was bailed out by the Minnesota Freedom Fund and was subsequently charged in another felony case while out on bail.

Just after noon on Jan. 2, 2021, Williams, of Brooklyn Park, followed the first victim, previously identified as 76-year-old Halima Farah, into her apartment building in south Minneapolis. Farah told police that Williams rode up in the same elevator to the floor of her apartment. When Farah and Williams got off the elevator, Williams pulled out a gun and shot her in the hip. Williams proceeded to attack Farah with her gun, hitting her multiple times in the head and stealing her purse, according to charges in the case.

Farah suffered bone fractures to her shoulder blade and skull, hemorrhages in two different places inside her skull and a laceration to her forehead that required sutures. Farah also had a through-and-through gunshot wound to her upper thigh/buttocks area, according to the medical report referenced in the complaint.

The plea agreement also included a plea of guilty in a second robbery case that occurred in the evening of the same day as the attack on Farah. Charges in that case say that at approximately 10:40 p.m., Williams and a male accomplice, William Deontae Williams, 28 at the time, followed a resident into the parking ramp of the Riverside Plaza apartment building.

Once inside the ramp, William Williams exited the passenger seat of a gold Jeep, approached the victim and put a gun to her head. The victim was robbed of her jacket which contained $1,000 in cash, her phone and credit cards.

Upon reviewing surveillance video following the second robbery, police recognized the gold and silver Jeep as being involved in the earlier robbery of Farah. By that time, officers had become aware that Da’Seanna Williams had been involved in the robbery of Farah.

Police also discovered that the Jeep had been stolen the day prior by William Williams, who took the Jeep on a test drive and failed to return it to the owner. The Jeep was found in the parking lot of Da’Seanna Williams’ Brooklyn Park apartment residence when police arrived several days later to execute a search warrant, at which time she was arrested.

Several days after her arrest, Williams was bailed out by the Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF). While out on bail supplied by MFF, Williams was arrested and charged in a new case in Ramsey County with felony check forgery. Also while out on bail, Williams had warrants issued for her arrest in both robbery cases for failure to comply with her conditions of release.

Da’Seanna Williams, now 22, pleaded guilty last August to one count of first-degree aggravated robbery and one count of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon in the robbery case involving Farah. Under the plea agreement, a charge of first-degree aggravated assault was dismissed in the case. Williams also pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting first-degree robbery in the Riverside Plaza case. Under the plea agreement, Williams was allowed to remain free until her sentencing last week.

Williams was sentenced to 48 and 58 months in prison, respectively, in the two robbery cases. The sentences will be served concurrently. Under Minnesota law, offenders are only required to serve two-thirds of their sentence incarcerated. With credit for 45 days spent in jail, Williams is expected to be released from prison in April 2025 after serving about 38 months.

Williams was found guilty in a bench trial in January on the Ramsey County check forgery case and is scheduled to be sentenced in that case on April 26.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.