ATL police major investigated for felony in DeKalb
Maj. Pearlene Williams (left), chief of staff for Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington, is under investigation in DeKalb County, where her son has been serving time for a 2007 pawn shop killing.
Court records show the DeKalb district attorney’s office opened a file Wednesday regarding an allegation that Williams violated her oath of office, a felony. The alleged offense occurred June 18, records show.
The DA’s office had little to say today about the case. “It’s going to be at least a month before we can talk about it,” said Orzy Theus, spokesman for DA Gwen Keyes Fleming, “because it’s still a very active investigation.”
“She hasn’t been charged. She hasn’t been indicted,” Theus said.
The DeKalb sheriff’s office forwarded an investigative report to Keyes Fleming two days ago, Theus said, but he could not say what the file contained. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported July 9 that the sheriff was investigating whether Williams brought contraband to her son.
WSB-TV reported last night that Williams had retired. A police spokesman, Sgt. Lisa Keyes, did not return a telephone call seeking comment.
Williams’ son, Muhammad Kareem (right), 22, pleaded guilty to murder last year in the killing of Fred Miller, 58, manager of a Covington Highway pawn shop. Kareem was sentenced to life in prison plus five years for the murder, as well as two counts of aggravated assault and a gun charge.
Kareem and a second man, Dontrel Jones, entered the pawn shop shortly before noon on Aug. 30, 2007, according to a plea transcript. Jones handed employee Marcus Houston a mesh laundry bag, showed him a gun and indicated he should fill the bag with valuables. Jones said later that the weapon was a BB gun; authorities said it was never recovered.
Miller saw the robbery unfolding, approached Kareem and was shot in the ensuing struggle. Houston survived after being shot in the back as he tried to escape through a second door, prosecutors said.
Kareem acknowledged participating in the robbery but accused Jones of pulling the trigger both times.