Billy Chambers, who was convicted as a juvenile of the 2008 slaying of Seattle street musician Ed "Tuba Man" McMichael, was sentenced to nearly 22 months in prison on Friday for deliberately ramming a woman's car and running her off the road in June.
Billy Chambers, who was convicted as a juvenile in the 2008 slaying of Seattle street musician Ed “Tuba Man” McMichael, was sentenced to nearly 22 months in prison on Friday for deliberately ramming a woman’s car and running her off the road in June.
King County Superior Court Judge Joan DuBuque imposed the top of the sentencing range, going beyond the 18-month recommendation of the prosecution and defense.
“But for the grace of God, this could’ve ended up very tragically, and I think we need to protect the community from his behavior,” DuBuque said.
Chambers, 18, will get credit for about four months he has already been in custody.
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He pleaded guilty in September to attempted second-degree assault and hit-and-run for intentionally striking the woman’s car because he was angry that she’d reported him to police for an earlier car prowl, according to court documents.
When officers went to Chambers’ house, they overheard him talking on the phone, asking someone, “Will you please tell them that you did it?” court records say. He told officers he’d been home sleeping all day.
On June 23, Chambers rear-ended the woman’s car while it was stopped for a traffic light at 23rd Avenue South and South Jackson Street in the Central Area. The woman told police that as she tried to drive away, the same car followed in the next lane and swerved toward the passenger side of her car, causing her to leave the roadway and strike a tree, according to charging papers. The woman was not hurt.
Chambers “is a young man of 18 years of age with an already serious criminal history,” King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Maurice Classen said during Friday’s sentencing. “At this point, rehabilitation has not been effective in reforming the defendant.”
Chambers’ defense attorney, Kevin Dolan, agreed. “He’s 18 and I think everybody in his family is really hoping he matures from this sentence and we don’t see him again” in court, Dolan said.
After a whispered conversation with Dolan, Chambers faced the judge and told her, “I’m sorry for what happened, and I’ll try to learn from my mistake.”
Chambers has prior convictions as an adult for first- and third-degree theft. He was also convicted as a juvenile for first-degree manslaughter, second-degree robbery and possession of stolen property, according to court records.
Chambers was 15 when he and two other boys were prosecuted in McMichael’s slaying. He spent about 18 months at Maple Lane School in Centralia in connection with McMichael’s death and another robbery on the same night in October 2008.
The sentences for Chambers and the two other youths who fatally beat McMichaels outraged many in the community. Because no witnesses came forward, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said, his office was forced to charge the three teens as juveniles instead of seeking to have them charged as adults.
For 20 years, McMichael, 53, was a fixture at Mariners, Sonics and Seahawks games and around Seattle Center.
Information from Times archives is included in this report.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org