Alameda County sheriff's deputy charged in slayings of married couple

Prosecutors on Friday charged an Alameda County sheriff's deputy with two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of a married couple in Dublin.

Devin Williams Jr. was also charged with the special circumstances of multiple murder and murder to avoid lawful arrest after he initially fled the Dublin home of Benison Tran, 57, and his wife Maria Tran, 42,  on Wednesday morning, before he changed his mind and turned himself in. 

Williams is now being held in custody at Santa Rita Jail, where he once worked. Williams made a brief appearance at the East County Hall of Justice in Dublin, but the arraignment was delayed until Wednesday.

If convicted, Williams could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.

William's mother told KTVU that her son had been in a romantic relationship with Maria Tran, a nurse at John George Psychiatric Hospital, and that she had advised against it.

According to Williams' mother, Anitra Williams, Maria Tran "represented herself as an unmarried woman."

Outside court, defense attorney Jesse Garcia described his client as a "bright, caring, articulate individual, and it's a tragedy."

Garcia added, "It's profoundly tragic what happened. Nothing that we do or say in this courtroom is going to change the lives of the family of the victims."

He declined to discuss the charges against his client, saying, "I expect that the defense will reveal itself as the case proceeds."

Authorities said the deputy had just finished an overtime shift at the jail about 11 p.m. Tuesday, when he headed to the Tran home.

They were found dead at 12:45 a.m. Wednesday after Benison Tran called 911 to report an intruder, authorities said. Six shots could then be heard on the call, and he dropped the phone. A relative then picked up the line and reported the shooting.

In the prosecutor's declaration to the court, responding Dublin police officers, asking who was responsible, heard an unknown family member say, "Devin" and "he is a cop." 

Police found six 9mm shell casings at the home, the same kind used by the Alameda County sheriff's office, court records show,

The couple had been shot in their heads and necks, authorities said.

There was a substance that appeared to be blood in Williams Volkswagen when he surrendered later Wednesday morning to CHP officers in Coalinga, after being urged to do so during phone calls with his mother and Dublin Police Chief Garrett Holmes.

Kelly said Williams tossed the gun somewhere near the Altamont Pass in a rural area. The weapon has not been found.