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Aces guard arrested in domestic violence investigation

Updated July 26, 2023 - 7:50 pm

Aces guard Riquna Williams was ordered released from jail on Wednesday after she was arrested and accused of domestic violence against her wife.

“The court does have concerns regarding the extremely violent nature of the allegations in this case, that they were alleged to have occurred over an extended period of time,” Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Rebecca Saxe said during Williams’ initial court appearance on Wednesday.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Glen O’Brien also said Williams was accused of “multiple violent allegations against her spouse.”

According to William’s arrest report, Williams’ wife called police on Tuesday and said that Williams had attacked her, punching and choking her after she told Williams she wanted a break from their relationship.

Williams’ wife also told police that Williams had threatened to kill her, and then herself, the report said.

The Aces released a statement Wednesday indicating that Williams will not be participating in team events.

“As an organization, we condemn domestic violence of any kind,” the statement said. “At this time, Riquna Williams will be precluded from participating in team activities. Our thoughts are with the parties involved in this situation. We are currently gathering more information, and as such we will not have any further comments at this time.”

Multiple felony charges

Williams, 33, did not speak during the court hearing, when she appeared wearing a gray Raiders T-shirt.

She is facing felony charges of assault constituting domestic violence with a deadly weapon, coercion constituting domestic violence, three counts of domestic battery by strangulation and four misdemeanor counts of domestic battery, court records show.

“We have been advised of the situation involving one of our members in Las Vegas,” WNBA Players Association Executive Director Terri Carmichael Jackson said in a statement on Wednesday. “We are monitoring the situation and have no further comment at this time.”

In 2019, the WNBA suspended Williams for 10 games when she played for the Los Angeles Sparks after she was arrested in an alleged domestic violence incident. She was accused of breaking into a Florida home, attacking her ex-girlfriend and pointing a gun at a man before speeding off, The Associated Press reported.

Prosecutors in Palm Beach County, Florida, dropped the burglary and assault with a firearm charges against Williams in 2020, court records show.

Records show that Williams was married in Clark County in September. Chief Deputy Public Defender Ryan Bashor told the judge Wednesday that Williams’ spouse has already moved away from Las Vegas.

‘Concerns of alcohol use’

Saxe ordered Williams released on her own recognizance and placed on alcohol monitoring, after noting there were “concerns of alcohol use” referenced in Williams’ arrest report. The judge did not order Williams to pay a monetary bail because of her lack of criminal history and ties to the community.

Williams’ wife, whose name is redacted from the arrest report, told police that she was packing to leave Las Vegas early Tuesday when Williams grabbed her suitcase and threw all her clothing on the ground. The other woman told police that Williams had been drinking wine earlier that night.

Williams then took her wife’s cellphone, credit cards and ID card “so she could not leave her,” the report said. Williams is accused of attacking her wife over the course of about an hour, and at one point she put the other woman in a rear chokehold, Williams’ wife told police.

Later that morning, the other woman said Williams attacked her again, punching her, kicking her in the ribs and stomping her foot on the front of her head, the report said.

A neighbor told police that Williams’ wife borrowed his phone to call a family member, and that he overheard her telling a relative “‘she did it again’ referring to being hit by her wife,” the report said. Williams’ wife later used the neighbor’s phone to call 911.

Williams was arrested in the 12600 block of Southern Highlands Parkway, according to police. She had left the gym just before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday when she was detained with a phone believed to belong to her wife, according to the arrest report.

Williams claimed that “she was the victim and was beaten up” during the altercation with her wife, according to the report.

The officer who wrote the report noted that Williams could not provide specific details and “was unable to provide me with a consistent statement.”

Williams hasn’t played this season for the Aces after being listed out with a lower back injury. This would have been her 11th WNBA season after originally being chosen in the second round of the 2012 draft by the Tulsa Shock.

She joined the Aces ahead of the 2021 season in free agency. She only played 21 games for the Aces in 2022 because of a foot injury, averaging 6.7 points in 18 minutes per game, but was a key reserve contributor during the team’s playoff run to the first championship in franchise history and the first major league professional sports title in Las Vegas history.

Williams is due back in court next week.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter. Staff writer Andy Yamashita and digital content producer Tony Garcia contributed to this report.

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