The teenage suspect wanted in connection to the November 28 murder of a 21-year-old Temple University student has been revealed to have a long criminal history, as well as a long history of being let off by the law.
17-year-old Latif Williams reportedly attempted to rob Samuel Collington, resulting in Williams shooting Collington two times in the chest on the 2200 block of North Park Avenue in North Philadelphia as he was unloading his mother's SUV.
Leading up to this, according to Big Trial, Williams had been arrested on August 14, 2021, and was issued eight charges in connection with an armed robbery, including conspiracy, robbery, aggravated assault, and possession of an unlicensed gun.
Bail was set at $200,000 monetary that day by a judge. Williams in that case would have to place a down payment of 10 percent, or $20,000 to get out of jail.
Less than a week after his arrest, on August 20 Municipal Court Joffie Pittman lowered the bail for Williams to $200,000 unsecured. In this circumstance the defendant would have to post no money to stay out of jail.
The District Attorney's office, under the leadership of Larry Krasner, an advocate for criminal justice reform, filed no appeal.
Williams was then reportedly placed on house arrest.
On September 16, Judge Charles Hayden reportedly granted the DA's request for a continuance following a "victim/witness failed to appear" in court, according to the Municipal Court docket.
According to Big Trial, "On Sept. 30th, only the second listing for the preliminary hearing in the case, Judge Martin Coleman granted the DA's motion to withdraw all eight charges against Williams, and he was a free man."
It was less than two months after this that Williams allegedly killed Collington. He shot him twice in the chest, and Collington died around 30 minutes later.
Police are currently searching for Williams, and describe him as being 5 foot 5 and 120 pounds.
Williams has a long criminal history, and faced little punishment for many of the crimes when prosecuted by the DA's office under the leadership of Krasner.
Williams was first arrested in November of 2017 for robbing a female college student at Temple of her cell phone, assaulting her as well. Williams was just 13 at the time, and there is no record of resolution of the case.
On July 20, 2019, Williams was arrested for selling drugs. On August 21, 2020, the DA's office under Krasner's leadership withdrew the charges against him.
Williams was arrested again on May 31, 2020, during the George Floyd riots,. He for burglary, rioting and looting. According to the police, Williams kicked a police car window out and spit on the cops. On September 18, 2020, the DA's office withdrew those charges.
On November 6, 2020, Williams was arrested for selling drugs, and on September 10, 2021, the DA's office withdrew those charges.
On Twitter, DA Krasner states that he is fighting "for equal justice for the great people of Philadelphia. A fair and effective criminal justice system makes us safer."
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