'Tuba Man' killer sentenced to six years on gun charge

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by TRAVIS PITTMAN / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 31, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Updated Friday, May 31 at 5:40 PM

One of the three people prosecuted in the death of Seattle’s “Tuba Man” was sentenced Friday to six years in federal prison on an unrelated gun charge.

William “Billy” Chambers, 20, was arrested in October 2012 just 15 days after completing a prison sentence for attempted assault.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Chambers was arrested following a car prowl in Burien in which he and other suspects stole a Bushmaster assault rifle. The gun was found in the trunk of his car. Chambers allegedly told police the house and car where the robbery happened were targeted because he believed the residents had guns.

Due to his previous convictions as both a juvenile and an adult, Chambers was prohibited from possessing firearms. Chambers pleaded guilty being a felon in possession of a firearm.

In addition to the six years, Chambers will be under federal supervision for three years following his release.

“This is your last best chance,” U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik told Chambers.  “Please take advantage of it.”

Chambers was 15 years old when he and two other juveniles were convicted of manslaughter in 2008 for the death of Ed “Tuba Man” McMichael, a beloved figure who played his tuba outside Seattle sports and entertainment venues. Prosecutors said McMichael was beaten and robbed at a bus stop near Seattle Center.

The three juveniles only spent a few weeks behind bars because they could not be charged as adults. In announcing the plea deals, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said that because no witnesses who came forward, he could not move forward with the case.

Chambers was also sentenced in 2010 to eight months in prison for robbing a man in downtown Seattle using a fake gun. In 2011, he pleaded guilty to attempted assault and hit and run after prosecutors said he intentionally ran another driver off the road. He was sentenced to 21 months.

Prosecutors say the firearm Chambers stole in October had previously been reported stolen in a burglary in July 2010.

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