Man accused of shooting girlfriend in Point Loma parking lot to stand trial for murder


A 2018 photo shows Joe Benette Conway, who pleaded guilty to shooting his girlfriend in a parking lot on West Point Loma Boulevard and was sentenced to 18 years in prison in June 2021.

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SAN DIEGO — A man accused of gunning down his 20-year-old girlfriend in the parking lot of a Point Loma Heights strip mall was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on a murder charge.

Joe Bennette Conway, 42, is accused of killing Octavia Williams of Phoenix, Arizona, last Oct. 9.

According to preliminary hearing testimony from several employees of the Domino’s Pizza restaurant at 4013 W. Point Loma Blvd., Conway and Williams entered the restaurant briefly around 10:30 p.m. They didn’t order anything and Williams used the restroom before the couple exited to the parking lot, where they became engaged in a loud and heated argument, witnesses testified.

One witness said he didn’t hear what they were talking about, but saw Conway’s arm around Williams, who was trying to move away from the defendant.

Another witness parked across the street from the strip mall said he heard a woman scream “No!” about 10 seconds before a single gunshot rang out.

Williams was found lying in the parking lot with a gunshot wound to the head. Paramedics took her to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Conway was arrested less than a month later in Tempe, where police found a gun with the defendant and victim’s DNA on it, according to San Diego Police Department homicide Detective Michael Weaver. A cigarette butt found near the Domino’s Pizza also had Conway’s DNA on it, Weaver said.

Conway, who’s being held without bail, is due back in court July 11 for a Superior Court arraignment.

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