The man accused of opening fire on a woman as she drove along state Route 94, striking her in the back of the head and causing her car to crash, pleaded not guilty in San Diego County court on Wednesday, prosecutors confirmed.
Thomas Evans III, 47, is charged with murder in the death of Saundralina Williams, a 27-year-old mother of three who was driving a Ford SUV on westbound SR-94 with two passengers when the shooting occurred on March 5. Her passengers were uninjured.
Early Saturday, authorities conducted a search warrant on Evans' La Mesa home and found what they believed was the weapon used in the shooting, California Highway Patrol said. Evans was then arrested, nearly three weeks after the shooting.
Williams was on life support for the three days following the shooting, her aunt and uncle told NBC 7, but later died of her injuries.
Williams leaves behind three young daughters.
“It’s hard because they were just really getting to know their mom again because she had had some pitfalls and missteps," Katy Lopez explained.
Katy Lopez and her husband Ruben told NBC 7 Williams had just gotten her life back on track and was excited about spending more time with her girls.
CHP said in a statement announcing Evans' arrest that they had been working around the clock to find the suspect responsible for Williams' death.
“We know the arrest will not bring Ms. Williams back, but we hope that the arrest of the man suspected of her murder will give her family some closure. The CHP is dedicated to ensuring those who commit crimes of violence on our highways will be caught and brought to justice,” said CHP Chief Scott Parker.
No motive was released in the shooting and no other information was available.
Evans is being held without bail and his next court appearance is scheduled for April 8, according to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.
Sign up for our Breaking newsletter to get the most urgent news stories in your inbox.