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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Washington

Friday, May 31, 2013

Seattle Man Prosecuted for “Tuba Man” Killing as a Juvenile, Gets Six Year Prison Term for Illegal Gun Possession

Federal Prosecution Aimed At Stopping Escalating Criminal Activity

            A Seattle man, who was prosecuted as a juvenile in connection with the high profile beating death of a street musician, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to six years in prison and three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  WILLIAM CHAMBERS, 20, also known as ‘Billy Chambers’, was arrested in October 2012, barely two weeks after he had been released from serving a 21 month prison sentence for attempted assault.  CHAMBERS was arrested following a car prowl in Burien, Washington, where he and his co-conspirators stole a Bushmaster assault rifle.  CHAMBERS, who is prohibited from possessing firearms, had the gun in the trunk of his car when he was stopped.  At sentencing U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik urged CHAMBERS to use the prison time and the federal supervision to turn his life around and be an example for other young people.  “This is your last best chance.  Please take advantage of it,” the Judge said.

            “We must work to end the street culture that thrives on guns.  Too many lives have been harmed,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  “Getting guns out of the hands of felons and other prohibited persons is a top priority for our office.”

According to records filed in the case, CHAMBERS pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm on February 28, 2013.  He is prohibited from possessing firearms because of previous convictions as a juvenile and an adult.  CHAMBERS was convicted of manslaughter as a juvenile for the October 2008 death of Edward McMichael known as the “Tuba Man”.  Chambers was sentenced to 15 to 36 weeks of incarceration.  In 2010, CHAMBERS was sentenced to eight months in prison for robbing a man in downtown Seattle using a fake gun.  In October 2011, CHAMBERS intentionally ran another driver off the road and pleaded guilty to attempted assault and hit and run.  He was sentenced to 21 months in prison and was released just 15 days before he was arrested in this case for illegal firearms possession.  CHAMBERS was taken into custody about 20 minutes after a neighbor reported seeing the men stealing an item from the trunk of a car in her neighbor’s driveway.  CHAMBERS admitted to police that the house and car were targeted because he believed the residents had guns.  The Bushmaster .223 caliber assault rifle that CHAMBERS possessed had an extended magazine containing 30 rounds and is a particularly deadly and dangerous weapon.  The firearm had been reported stolen in a burglary in July 2010.

The case was investigated by the King County Sheriff’s Department and was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Hobbs.  Mr. Hobbs is a Senior Deputy King County Prosecutor specially designated to prosecute firearms cases in federal court.

Updated March 23, 2015