Man Sentenced For Rape, Murder Near CSUSM

Michael Williams Admitted Killing Shannon Conway In 1995

A man who raped and strangled a young woman in San Marcos 15 years ago was sentenced Friday to a no-parole life prison term.

Michael Eddie Williams, 37, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree murder and admitted that the murder of 18-year-old Shannon Conway took place during the course of rape. The victim's nude body was found on July 30, 1995, dumped near Cal State San Marcos.

Williams was sentenced by Vista Judge K. Michael Kirkman.

The defendant was extradited to California last December from Mississippi after a DNA match implicated him in Conway's death, prosecutors said. At the time, Williams was serving a 40-year sentence for child rape.

Conway's body was discovered alongside Craven Road in San Marcos. She was a transient from Los Angeles who was living in Ocean Beach around the time of her death.

About a month after her body was discovered, a 39-year-old man was arrested in connection with the killing but the charges were dismissed when DNA tests showed semen from the victim's body was not his, authorities said.

Additionally, blood found in that suspect's van did not belong to the victim, authorities said.

The case was recently reopened and investigators discovered that Williams' DNA matched evidence from the crime scene.