Yetunde Price, the oldest sister and personal assistant of tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams, was murdered on Sept. 14. She was 31.
Price was sitting with a man inside an SUV in the Compton neighborhood of Los Angeles when they became involved in an altercation with local residents. Witnesses say between six and 20 gunshots were heard; police later found an assault rifle at the scene. Shot several times in the chest, she was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Price and her four sisters grew up in Compton, a crime-ridden community known for its rampant gang activity. When Venus and Serena became professional tennis players, the family moved to Florida. Price, however, moved to Corona, Calif., about 40 miles from Compton, where she became a registered nurse and the part-owner of a beauty salon.
[Update – March 22, 2006: Edward Maxfield, 25, pleaded no contest on March 18 to voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Yetunde Price. The plea was entered on the day his third trial was scheduled to begin.]
[Update – April 6, 2006: Edward Maxfield, 25, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the slaying of Yetunde Price. Prosecutors said Maxfield fired about 11 bullets from an assault rifle shortly before midnight in Sept. 2003 in order to protect a drug house; one of the bullets struck Price in the head. Maxfield pleaded no contest, which amounts to an admission of guilt under California law, to manslaughter last month. Juries deadlocked on their verdict in two previous trials. A murder charge against a second man, Aaron Hammer, was dismissed after the first trial. Hammer was accused of firing a gun during the shooting but authorities concluded that it did not cause Price’s fatal wound.]