Arrest made in 5-year-old Tempe homicide

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A man was arrested nearly five years after his alleged involvement in a deadly robbery attempt.

Xavier S. Williams, 34, faces charges of first-degree murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and aggravated assault.

The incident happened Dec. 30, 2014 near 1900 East Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe.

Police at the time learned three people had broken into a family’s home, forced a woman and her 3-year-old son into a room, and forced Michael Perez into another room to open a safe.

According to court records, Mr. Perez at one point pulled out a firearm but was struck and restrained by the suspects.

Mr. Perez’s wife later recalled hearing gunshots, and then the suspects fleeing the residence.

Despite home cameras producing images of the suspects. Police also found blood at the scene determined to be that of one of the suspects.

However, police had not been able to identify anyone in nearly five years. Authorities later requested a familial DNA test, but only received a match in September. That led authorities to Xavier Williams, whose characteristics matched one of the suspects at the crime scene. Detectives also obtained a phone number that was determined to be near the homicide scene when it occurred.

Police finally located Mr. Williams Tuesday morning near 24th Street and Baseline Road.

According to records, Mr. Williams admitted involvement in the robbery, saying he had kicked open the front door of the home and struggled with the victim over the firearm. He said at one point he picked up a gun and claimed it just discharged. He reportedly did not intend to fire the gun, saying there was a lot of blood on his hand and the gun might have slipped.

He was jailed in lieu of a $400,000 bond.

To date, it does not appear any other suspects have been arrested in this case.

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