Crime - Sacto 911

Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to man who shot couple during drug deal in late 1980s?

Q: What happened to the Brian Frye and Bill Massey case back in 1987 or 1988 in Sacramento? I believe Bill Massey died, but his girlfriend at the time survived. What ever happened to Frye?

Erica, Sacramento

A: Brian David Frye was convicted of first-degree murder for fatally shooting William D. Massey, his drug connection, over a $160 debt he owed Massey.

The jury found that Frye killed Massey, 19, and tried to kill Massey’s girlfriend, Jennifer Lynn Bothun, 19, after an argument in the parking lot of Del Paso Manor Elementary School on Maryal Drive in the Arden Arcade area. Massey died after being shot several times in the upper body while sitting in a pickup truck in the early morning of Jan. 24, 1988. Bothun was shot in the side.

After shooting Massey and Bothun, Frye got into the couple’s truck and drove away.

According to stories in The Sacramento Bee, Bothun blacked out after she was shot, then played dead. At some point, Frye noticed she was moving and the two struggled over the gun. Frye was shot in the hand and fled from the truck near Kings Way and Watt Avenue. He was arrested a short time later at his home.

The jury rejected the defense attorney’s argument that Frye was in a “drug-induced psychosis” when the shooting occurred.

Now 47 years old, Frye is at California State Prison, Solano, in Vacaville.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy