Mugshots, therefore public domain, blog post by John Hoff
An anonymous reader (who, I suspect, has some law training) provided a link to a court document and it turned out to be the whole bloody tale of Charden Gomez, born in 1961, who may or may not be a relative of "bored shooter" Malo Gomez.
If you would like to read the document, including all its case citations and footnotes, click here to see the document. However, in this blog post I will print the STORY told by the court document, stripped of the elements non-law trained people would find, well, boring as all-get-out.
It is an amazing tale and, even if Malo Gomez is not related to Charden Gomez, this story should be more accessible on the internet. It is appropriate material for this blog since it happened in North Minneapolis, on the 3200 block of Washburn Ave. N. (Click here for a portion of a newspaper article about the murder and have I mentioned lately that being unable to get old Star Tribune articles online SUCKS?)
Here's how the massacre and the murder conviction went down...
A Hennepin County grand jury indicted appellant Charden Gomez for the March 17, 2001, murders of Abel and Esther Hillman at their home in Minneapolis.
Following a trial, the jury acquitted Gomez of two counts of first-degree premeditated murder but convicted him of the remaining 12 counts, including two counts of first-degree intentional murder during the commission of a burglary. The district court sentenced Gomez to two consecutive life terms, one for each victim.
Gomez appealed, arguing that his convictions must be reversed due to various and sundry technicalities having little to do with whether he actually murdered two people in cold blood. He was not successful in that regard.
At the time of their deaths, the Hillmans were both 89 years old, had been married to each other for 60 years, and had lived for the previous 52 years in the house where they were murdered. The Hillmans had one child, Larry Hillman. Larry had three children, only one of whom, Lori Williamson, lived in Minnesota.
Williamson was a crack addict and a prostitute. The Hillmans would, from time to time, give money to Larry’s children. Because of Williamson’s crack addiction, they would occasionally give her small amounts of cash, buy her groceries and bus passes, or pay her rent, but they would not give her large sums of money.
Sometime in early 2001, Williamson met Gomez, who had recently been released from prison. At some point, Williamson introduced Gomez to her grandparents as her landlord and, on at least two occasions, Esther Hillman wrote checks collectively totaling $625 payable to Gomez for Williamson’s rent. In fact, Gomez was not Williamson’s landlord. Nonetheless, Gomez cashed the checks and gave the proceeds to Williamson, who used the money to purchase drugs.
On March 16, 2001, Williamson drove Esther Hillman to the bank, where she bought two certificates of deposit, one in the amount of $100,000 payable on death to her son Larry and the other in the amount of $25,000 payable on death to Williamson. After their trip to the bank, Williamson dropped Esther Hillman off at home, called several friends, and bragged about money she was going to be receiving from the Hillmans. When Williamson told her sister Lisa that the Hillmans were giving her a large sum of money in the form of a certificate of deposit, Lisa explained that the only way Williamson could collect the proceeds from the certificate of deposit was if the Hillmans died.
Lisa Hillman talked with Esther Hillman on the evening of Friday, March 16. The following morning, at approximately 6:34 a.m., a 911 call was placed from the Hillmans’ home. When the operator answered the call, no one was on the line. Police officers, following up on the 911 call, went to the Hillmans’ home. They found a newspaper laying on the sidewalk, the front door locked, all the lights off, and the shades pulled down. After ringing the doorbell and getting no answer, they left.
When Lisa was unable to reach the Hillmans on Sunday, March 18, she called her father and asked him to check on them. When he arrived at his parents’ home, Larry Hillman found that a light in the bedroom window was on and the front door was unlocked. Upon entering, he discovered his parents’ bodies. Autopsies revealed that Abel Hillman died of blunt force injuries to his head and that Esther Hillman had been stabbed more than 70 times, four of which could have been fatal in and of themselves.
After further investigation linked Gomez to the crime, he was arrested, indicted for, and ultimately convicted of the Hillmans’ murders.
Gomez was a bad man who had done other bad things.
1.) On August 12, 1989, at 4:55 p.m., Gomez forcibly entered into an elderly couple’s home. He struck both, knocked one to the ground, demanded money, and fled with their purse and wallet.
2.) On August 12, 1989, at 9:30 p.m., Gomez forcibly entered into another elderly couple’s home. He took the man’s wallet and struck him in the face, causing him a minor cut.
3.) On August 13, 1989, at 1:05 a.m., Gomez broke into the home of a 74‑year-old woman, shoved her off the bed, demanded money, and rummaged through her closet and cabinet.
4.) On August 13, 1989, at 2:30 a.m., Gomez broke into an elderly couple’s home. When the elderly woman attempted to reach for the phone, he grabbed her and pushed her onto a bed. He fled with a wallet.
Gomez had been incarcerated over these crimes until approximately 6 months before he murdered the Hillmans.
Gomez did not testify at his trial. As near as I can determine, he is still alive and rotting in prison.
If this sad tale has a moral, it might be this: If your child turns into a whore and a crackhead, leave her out of your will, and make sure she KNOWS she's not in your will.