For those of you who have forgotten about the event that is now being called the origin of one of the NFL's most serious problems, let me refresh your memory.
It was New Year's Eve 2006. The Denver Broncos had recently lost to the San Francisco 49ers in overtime to end their season and miss the playoffs. After the game, Darrent Williams and then-teammate Javon Walker decided to go to the Safari Club, a local nightclub in Denver, to celebrate at a New Year's Eve party hosted by Denver Nuggets player Kenyon Martin.
An altercation occurred in the club between some club members, some of whom were allegedly members of the notorious Crips gang. Neither Williams nor Walker were believed to have been involved in the scuffle.
At approximately 2:00 AM on New Year's Day, Williams, Walker, and two friends left the club and were traveling in a rented white Hummer H2 limousine. At 2:10, the limo pulled up to the intersection of Speer Blvd. and 11th Ave. An SUV pulled up next to them. The people in the SUV shot at the limo at least 15 times, wounding the two friends, Nicole Reindl and Brandon Flowers.
Williams was shot in the neck, then fell into Walker's lap. Williams was pronounced dead at 2:30 at the age of 24.
In the aftermath, the Denver police impounded a car that was owned by a Crips member waiting trial on drug and attempted murder charges. Other Crips members were questioned, but none were charged.
On May 30 of this year, the Rocky Mountain News claimed to have obtained a written confession to the murder of Williams by Crips member Willie D. Clark. Aside from those three items, the case wasn't looking too good.
But today, a grand jury in Denver officially indicted the same Willie D. Clark on 39 charges ranging from weapons charges to murder. Clark violated his parole four days after the shooting on drug charges.
Williams' mother wasn't available for comment by media sources, former teammate and witness Javon Walker has yet to comment, and Clark's lawyer also has not commented as of the writing of this article.
Former teammate Nick Ferguson, now a member of the Houston Texans, had this to say:
"I trust the people investigating the case did their homework and they won't drag people into court on charges that won't stick. I've seen that happen too many times.
"I'm like a lot of people who knew Darrent. I just want the people responsible to pay their debt to society for taking such a young, vibrant man from his kids and his family.
"Not a moment goes by that I don't think about D-Will and his family after what happened that night."
And for all the people affected by this tragedy, let's hope the charges stick.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!