The man who killed tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams’ half-sister only served a 12-year sentence.
Serena Williams revealed, in a recent interview with Time Magazine, that on July 31, minutes before taking the court against Johanna Konta at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, she found out that Robert Edward Maxfield, who fatally shot her sister, had been released from prison early for good behavior.
In 2003, Yetunde Price, mother of three, lost her life while driving with her boyfriend in Compton, Calif. The killer was believed to be targeting another person who belonged to a rival gang.
Struggling with forgiveness, Serena said, “No matter what, my sister is not coming back for good behavior. It’s unfair that she’ll never have an opportunity to hug me. But alsothe Bible talks about forgiveness. I’m not there yet. I would like to practice what I preach, and teach Olympia that as well. I want to forgive. I have to get there. I’ll be there.”
Yetunde served as a personal assistant for both Serena and Venus as their careers gained traction. She was also a registered nurse, co-owner of a beauty salon, and mother to three children Jeffrey, Justus, and Jair.
According to Vicky Waters, press secretary for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations explained Maxfield’s early release:
“Per the law, he was eligible for 15 percent credit off his sentence, and he also received 989 days of credit for time served while awaiting sentencing, time served post-sentencing before arrival to prison. He was paroled in March after serving his full-term of his sentence, as defined by law.”
In 2016, Venus and Serena honored their sister’s memory by opening the Yetunde Price Resource Center in Compton, which is to dedicated to helping people affected by violence.
At a panel discussion talking about the effects of violence, Venus was outspoken.
She said, “Violence not only affects the victim’s family but also the family of the perpetrator, it ruins their lives as well. If you’re a mother or a father it’s not your plan to have your child commit this, it ruins lives. I think one of the hardest days of all of our lives was having to tell our sister’s children what happened to their mom, you can’t prepare for that.'”
In an interview with the Daily Mail, a family friend said, “I see Yetunde in her when she plays. I really believe that one of the things that drives her so much and keeps her going is that every time she plays she’s giving it her all because of Yetunde.”