Crime - Sacto 911

Jury returns conviction in Valley Hi gang murder

A Sacramento street gang member has been convicted of first-degree murder for a shooting in the Valley Hi area four years ago.

Jurors returned the verdict last Friday on Keith Williams, who is now 19, for the May 19, 2009, killing of Paul Ray Cousins, 21, in the 7800 block of Summerview Way.

Cousins and a friend had been sitting on a utility box smoking marijuana when they were approached by Williams and an unidentified partner.

According to Deputy District Attorney Noah Phillips’ trial brief, Williams and his partner exchanged gang hand signs with Cousins before they fatally shot him and seriously wounded his friend, the brief said. The suspects also told the victims to “give up” their belongings, the brief said.

Williams was convicted under a theory of aiding and abetting the killing. Police and prosecutors were never able to identify the person who they believe was the gunman. Authorities said the alleged gunman may have been known by his street name of “Bama.”

Superior Court Judge Trena H. Burger-Plavan scheduled Williams’ sentencing for Jan. 17. Williams’ conviction contained two special-circumstance allegations – lying in wait and gang-related murder – that jurors found true. Williams if facing a life term without parole.