Dyson Williams Pleads Guilty to Murder and Other Charges for Deadly Crash Following Robbery Spree

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced today the guilty plea of DYSON WILLIAMS, 22, for driving a car that killed a nun and injured four people in Harlem following an early-morning robbery spree in June 2010. The defendant pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to the top charges in the indictment, including Murder in the Second Degree, Robbery in the First Degree, and Assault in the First Degree. WILLIAMS will be sentenced on May 30, 2012. The case against co-defendant WILLIAM ROBBINS, 20, is pending.

“Murder was not committed with a gun or a knife in this case, but a car,” said District Attorney Vance. “Before the deadly crash, the defendants in this case had embarked on terrifying gunpoint robbery spree in Harlem. Dyson showed an utter disregard for human life and his actions had tragic and deadly consequences.”

According to documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court, on June 22, 2010, WILLIAMS and ROBBINS were involved in several armed robberies in Harlem, stealing from five separate victims in the early morning hours. The crimes occurred in the area of West 123rd Street and Lenox Ave., where the men returned at approximately 9:20 a.m. At that time, WILLIAMS exited a blue Chrysler Pacifica and approached a fifth victim, demanding the victim’s property, a black backpack.

Minutes later, police officers pulled over the Chrysler Pacifica near West 142nd Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard. An officer ordered ROBBINS, who was seated in the driver’s seat, out of the car. After ROBBINS exited the car, WILLIAMS moved to the driver’s seat and drove off. Within minutes, the Chrysler Pacifica struck another vehicle and a group of pedestrians at the intersection of West 122nd Street and Lenox Avenue. Four people sustained injuries as a result of that collision. The collision also resulted in the death of another victim, Sister Mary Celine Graham of the Franciscan Handmaids of Mary religious order.

District Attorney Vance thanked Assistant District Attorney Peter Casolaro, Senior Trial Counsel, for prosecuting the case, with assistance of Assistant District Attorney Marc Krupnick. Trial Preparation Assistant Ian Kerr and Senior Investigator Gennaro Giorgio also assisted with the case and investigation.

Defendant Information:
New York, NY


* Murder in the Second Degree, a class A felony, 1 count
* Robbery in the First Degree, a class B felony, 5 counts
* Assault in the First Degree, a class B felony, 3 counts