Kenneth Daijon Kelly, one of three youths convicted of the 2008 killing of Tuba Man Ed McMichael, was charged late last month with unlawful possession of a firearm. Kelly, now 18, is being held at the King County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Share story

One of three teens convicted of killing the street musician known as the “Tuba Man” in 2008 has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm after Seattle police say they found a gun within his reach inside a car.

Kenneth Daijon Kelly, 18, of Seattle, was arrested Feb. 26 near South Boeing Access Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Way South while riding in a 1993 MercedesBenz, according to charges.

Gang officers said they noticed the car after the driver made a U-turn in the middle of a street. A license-plate check found discrepancies in the vehicle’s sales history, according to charging paperwork.

Police found four people inside the car. Kelly, who was in the back seat, declined to speak with officers about the handgun, which was found in the seat pocket in front of him, charges said.

Only Kelly was arrested. Police said that Kelly is a “self-admitted” street-gang member from Seattle’s Central District.

Kelly and two other teens were sentenced to juvenile detention after they were convicted of the beating death of Ed McMichael, 53, who was known for playing his tuba outside Seattle sporting events. McMichael was pummeled by a group of teens after midnight on Oct. 25, 2008, near Seattle Center.

Kelly, who was 15 at the time, and Bill Chambers, who was also 15, and a third teen all pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter. Because the three were prosecuted as juveniles, they faced between 36 and 72 weeks in jail.

At the time, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said he was displeased that the three would serve so little time. However, because no witnesses came forward, he said, his office was forced to charge the three as juveniles instead of seeking to have them charged as adults.

“I don’t think we could have made an adult case against them,” Satterberg said in 2009. “The truth is, our choice was to accept a juvenile sentence or allow the case to remain unsolved.”

On Wednesday, Satterberg said that Kelly’s manslaughter conviction made it illegal for him to possess a firearm. If convicted on the firearms violation he faces up to two years in prison, Satterberg said.

Kelly also has a prior conviction for second-degree robbery, according to prosecutors. He is being held at the King County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Chambers has also been in trouble with the law since his release from juvenile detention after serving time for McMichael’s slaying.

He was sentenced to nearly 22 months in prison in October for deliberately ramming a woman’s car and running her off the road last summer. Chambers, 19, pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree assault and hit-and-run.

Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report, which includes information from Times archives.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.