Brothers arrested in death outside traffic court

February 20, 2011 6:30:18 PM PST
Two brothers are facing charges in beating death of a pregnant woman outside Philadelphia's traffic court building.

Police say 28-year-old Walter Williams and 29-year-old Robert Canada attacked Tovoyia Owens last week.

Police say Owens and her boyfriend were attacked after a chance meeting with Williams inside the traffic court building, on the outskirts of downtown. Owens died of blunt impact trauma to the neck about an hour after the beating.

Williams was charged with murder and Canada charged with aggravated and simple assault. Bell says a long-simmering dispute between Williams and Owens' brother prompted the attack.

"I'm just really happy that these guys were apprehended and justice should be served," Tovoyia Owens' mother Jawanna Williams said.

Tovoyia Owens' mother, father, and other relatives reached out to Action News Tuesday night to speak about the arrests in the killing of their daughter, a 21-year-old who was 4-months pregnant and a mother of a 3-year-old.

"She's a beautiful person, to know her is to love her," Owens' father Frank Walker said.

"A wonderful mother, a hard worker, an educator, went to school," Jawanna said.

"Toya was a very special person, she loved all, she would help whoever," Owens' Godmother Lisa Brown said.

Owens was at traffic court trying to retrieve her impounded car.

"If they could do that to a woman, a pregnant woman, God knows what they'll do to anyone else, so we want them off the street," the victim's aunt, Alonda Owens, said.

On a memorial page on Facebook, more than 20,000 people from across the region and country expressed outrage over what happened to Owens, a criminal justice student at Cheyney University, a part-time worker at two West Philadelphia pharmacies, and a mother.

She leaves behind her 3-year-old daughter Azaih.

"I still have my 3-year-old granddaughter, her daughter Azaih, that questions where her mommy is," Jawanna said before breaking up.

"You know, I have my grand baby left to deal with. So I have a baby 'Toya now and it's in the hands of the courts and these gentlemen, that's their business," Frank Walker said.

The family is grateful to all including many strangers who have offered their support, prayers and kindness.