Young hero: 11-year-old honored for testifying against her dad's attacker


An 11-year-old Minneapolis girl is being honored as a hero for helping to put an attempted murderer behind bars.

Thalia Williams received the Hennepin County Outstanding Citizen award in a ceremony Friday; she's the youngest person ever to receive the honor, WCCO reports.

It was last year, when Thalia was just 10, when she witnessed her father being attacked by a former business associate in their home. Justin Williams was stabbed and beaten, and was seriously injured.

The suspect, Vincent Walker, went on trial in April, and Thalia's testimony helped lead to his conviction on attempted murder charges, according to FOX 9. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

“It was very scary because [I knew] the guy who tried to murder him,” Williams said, according to WCCO. “He had stayed in our house.”

But that isn't the end of Thalia Williams' heroism.

Shortly after Walker's trial ended, the girl was walking her dog when she spotted a suspicious-looking pop bottle lying in the street near her house. The bottle had balls of aluminum foil on it, she said.

So Thalia told her mother about it and they called police, who later confirmed that it was, indeed, a bomb.

Authorities safely detonated the device and nobody was hurt. Thalia's actions prevented what could have been a dangerous explosion, WCCO notes.

As she accepted the award, her father Justin Williams became emotional, according to the TV station.

“We knew years ago that she was going to do great things,” he said.

Thalia, who is in sixth grade, said Friday she hopes to become a prosecutor someday.

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Community Leadership Awards were also presented to five other people in the Friday ceremony, including Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering and her department.

The award recognizes their "superb work in building such a strong case against Pierre Collins that he pleaded guilty to murdering his son Barway and is now spending 40 years in prison."

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