A gang member involved in a fatal
shooting five years ago is accused of possessing the gun that was used to kill a man outside a
north Spokane party 10 days ago, newly filed documents alleged.
Burton Jr.,Ö is charged
with illegal weapons possession after police determined a semiautomatic rifle
used to kill John S. Williams, III on Jan. 17 belonged to Burton. Burton, 24, has previous felony
convictions that prohibit him from possessing owning firearms.
arrested two days after the slaying murder but is free on $10,000 bail.
No charges have been filed in Williams’ death — the city’s first homicide this
year — and detectives haven’t determined who killed him.
Police found Williams, 38, dead in
an alley outside an apartment building at 5405 N. Crestline about 3:40 a.m.,
then spotted Burton
running into an apartment, according to court documents.
He volunteered to be taken to the
police station for questioning, where he told police he’d driven a rented 2008
Nissan Altima to the party. Police had found the gun used to kill
Williams in the back of that Altima.
The car was rented to Burton’s girlfriend,
Lacey L. MeachamÖ, 27,
according to court documents. Burton
reportedly told police he’d driven the car back to the party alone.
About 40 people had gathered at
5405 N. Crestline, apartment 3, for a birthday party that
night before fights broke out and shots were fired, witnesses told police.
One man told police he’d heard
two or three gunshots “and then heard someone saying ‘What did I do? What did I
do?,’” according to a search warrant.
The man then saw a man matching
the description of Burton
try to enter apartment
3 three before entering a nearby unit.
A defense lawyer listed in court
records for Burton,
Christian Phelps, did not return an after-hours phone call seeking comment.
convicted of second-degree assault in 2005 for the New Year’s Day murder of
24-year-old Calvin Banks, who police said was a rival gang member. Burton was first charged
with second-degree murder but took a plea deal that gave him a year in prison.
This year’s shooting victim,
Williams, was at the birthday party on Crestline with his 21-year-old son,
Williams was enrolled at the Spokane Community College
Apprenticeship and Journeyman
according to a March 2009 newspaper article. He joined the painters union and praised
the training he’d received but told the newspaper he needed to “clock hours” to
have insurance coverage for his family.
“It’s hard right now,” he said.
“There’s no work out there.”