gavel.jpgA San Francisco gang member was sentenced today to 40 years to life in prison for attempting to kill a rival in 2009, according to the district attorney’s office.

Philip Pitney, 20, was convicted in October, after a three-week trial, of attempted murder, assault with a semiautomatic firearm and participating in a criminal street gang.

Prosecutors said Pitney, who belongs to a Western Addition gang, shot 21-year-old Ladarius Greer four times at a bus stop at McAllister and Fillmore streets at about 9 a.m. on Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009.

Pitney fled through an apartment complex, chased by two San Francisco firefighters who had been responding to an unrelated medical call and were told by witnesses about the shooting. He escaped but was arrested a few days later.

Greer survived and was scheduled to testify at Pitney’s trial, but disappeared just before it began, sparking a criminal investigation that led to the arrest of an investigator for the defense in the case.

The investigator, Steve Vender, allegedly told Greer on a recorded voicemail message that there was a warrant out for his arrest and that “it’s a good time to visit the Fresno Riviera.”

Vender has since been charged with a felony count of witness intimidation.

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