gavel.jpgA man was convicted of murder Wednesday in connection with the fatal shooting of another man in San Francisco’s Ingleside Heights neighborhood in 2006, according to the district attorney’s office.

A San Francisco Superior Court jury found Vernon Anderson, 25, guilty of murder for the death of 19-year-old Zachary Roche-Balsam outside a party in the 300 block of Victoria Street on Sept. 16, 2006, prosecutors said.

Anderson, a member of the Randolph Mob street gang, and several accomplices approached a crowd of high school and college students who were leaving a party in the neighborhood with the intention of robbing them, according to the district attorney’s office.

As the suspects robbed and attempted to rob various people, two guns were fired, and several bullets struck and killed Roche-Balsam, prosecutors said.

Anderson was arrested in April 2007 in connection with the shooting, according to the district attorney’s office.

Witnesses reported that Anderson had one of the guns but did not identify him as the shooter who killed Roche-Balsam, district attorney’s officials said. However, because the death occurred during the commission of a robbery and in connection with a street gang, prosecutors were able to charge Anderson with murder.

“As part of a calculated crime spree, this defendant showed a reckless disregard for human life that resulted in a teenager’s senseless killing,” District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement.

After five days of deliberation, the jury found Anderson guilty Wednesday of murder, robbery, attempted robbery, active participation in a criminal street gang, conspiracy to commit robbery, and shooting into a house, according to the district attorney’s office.

He faces a sentence of 50 years to life in state prison and will return to court on June 17 to set a date for the sentencing hearing, prosecutors said.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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