Crime - Sacto 911

Parole denied in 1995 West Sacramento murder

Kenneth Ray Buffer, convicted of murder in the 1995 death of a West Sacramento man, has been denied parole.

The Board of Parole Hearings Commission turned down Buffer’s request for release at a hearing Wednesday at Folsom State Prison, according to a Yolo County District Attorney’s Office news release.

In March 1995, Buffer and Michael Andre Todd attacked James Williams at a home in West Sacramento. Buffer, now 54, lived in Sacramento at the time.

During the trial, witnesses testified that Williams owed Buffer and Todd thousands of dollars as a result of drug deals. Buffer severely beat Williams, and Todd burned him with a knife that had been heated on a stove. They also poured a caustic liquid on Williams’ body, causing severe burns, authorities said.

Buffer later drove Williams, who was nearly dead, to a parking lot and left him in the back seat of his own car. Williams died days later at a hospital.

A jury convicted both Buffer and Todd, and the trial judge sentence Buffer to 25 years to life in prison.

Wednesday’s hearing was Buffer’s first parole hearing. In denying his release, commissioners found that Buffer was still a potential threat to public safety and was minimizing his role in Williams’ murder, the District Attorney’s Office reported. He will be eligible for parole again in three years.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy