A man who shot his 20-year-old girlfriend in the head in the parking lot of a Point Loma strip mall pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder.
Joe Bennette Conway, 44, is slated to be sentenced next month to an 18- year-to-life prison term for killing Octavia Williams on Oct. 9, 2018.
Conway and Williams — both Arizona residents — were at the Domino’s Pizza restaurant on Point Loma Boulevard shortly before the shooting.
According to preliminary hearing testimony, Conway and Williams entered the restaurant briefly around 10:30 p.m. They didn’t order anything and Williams used the restroom before the couple exited to the parking lot, where they became engaged in a loud and heated argument, witnesses testified.
One witness said he didn’t hear what they were talking about, but saw Conway’s arm around Williams, who was trying to move away from the defendant.
Another witness parked across the street from the strip mall said he heard a woman scream “No!” about 10 seconds before a single gunshot rang out.
Williams was found lying in the parking lot with a gunshot wound to the head. Paramedics took her to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Conway was arrested less than a month later in Tempe, where police found a gun with the defendant and victim’s DNA on it, according to San Diego Police Department homicide Detective Michael Weaver. A cigarette butt found near the Domino’s Pizza also had Conway’s DNA on it, Weaver said.
–City News Service