Brian David Frye was convicted of first-degree murder for the January 1988 shooting death of William D. Massey and the attempted murder of Massey’s girlfriend, Jennifer Lynn Bothun.
He was sentenced in August 1989 to 25 years to life in prison. Now 45 years old, Frye is incarcerated at California State Prison, Solano, in Vacaville.
According to stories in The Bee, Frye and his victims were 19 years old when the shootings occurred. Early in the morning of Jan. 24, 1988, Frye called and asked Massey to meet him in the parking lot of Del Paso Manor Elementary School, ostensibly so he could pay a drug debt he owed Massey. Bothun and Massey were parked when Frye arrived on foot, approached their truck and shot them. After the shooting, Massey got into the truck and began to drive away.
Bothun testified that she blacked out after she was wounded and then played dead, hoping Frye wouldn’t harm her further. At some point, however, he noticed she was moving and she asked him not to kill her. Bothun testified that she and Frye then struggled over the gun and he was shot in the hand.
The truck stopped near Kings Way and Watt Avenue. Frye got out of the vehicle and ran, but was arrested a short time later at his home.
In finding Frye guilty of first-degree murder, the jury rejected his contention that he was suffering from a “drug-induced toxic psychosis and/or blackout” at the time of the shootings.
The defense attorney presented evidence that Frye had ingested cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, LSD and alcohol, and had not been able to sleep in the four nights preceding the killing.