A 20-year-old alleged member of a Western Addition gang in San Francisco has been sentenced in federal court to nine years in prison for being a felon in possession of ammunition during a gunfire exchange in the city last year.
Gregory Walker, an alleged member of the Central Divis Playas gang, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Samuel Conti on Monday.
He was found guilty by a jury in Conti’s court in June of one count of being a felon in possession of five rounds of ammunition on June 3, 2010.
Walker was a felon at the time of the shooting incident because he was convicted in San Francisco Superior Court three weeks earlier of carrying a concealed weapon in 2009, and was placed on probation.
The shooting took place in front of the Laurel Gardens apartment complex at Turk and Steiner streets in the early evening of June 3, 2010.
U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said evidence at Walker’s trial showed that surveillance cameras recorded him shooting across Turk Street, which was crowded during rush hour, at an unidentified person who was also shooting.
The incident closed down a section of Turk Street for several hours, Haag said.
No one was hurt in the gunfire, according to defense attorney George Boisseau. Five shell casings cited in Walker’s trial were found on sidewalks in front of and inside the Laurel Gardens complex, Boisseau said in a sentencing brief.
Boisseau, who asked for a sentence of one year and nine months, argued in the brief that Walker fired in self-defense at several unknown assailants.
Boisseau also said in the brief there was no evidence at the trial of Walker’s alleged gang membership and that he was never proved to be a gang member.
Prosecutors, who sought the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, argued in their brief that Walker was attempting to kill the person firing at him and that his action was “incredibly dangerous” because Walker “was shooting indiscriminately across a street when it was crowded with cars and pedestrians.”
They alleged Walker’s membership in the gang was shown by tattoos and a statement to an Alameda County sheriff’s deputy when he was jailed after being arrested in Oakland in Sept. 6, 2010. That arrest followed an incident in which Walker and his girlfriend were shot several times.
Julia Cheever, Bay City News