FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — JUNE 17, 2013 –
Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig’s office announced that on Friday, a Yolo County Jury convicted gang member Billy Thomas Wolfington, Jr., 29, of second degree murder,, criminal street gang activity and personal use of a deadly weapon. The jury found that on September 2, 2011, Wolfington stabbed and killed Bobby Jamar Brittenum, 29, of Sacramento. The jury acquitted Shannon Lashaun Silva, 32, of Sacramento of related charges.
Prosecutors had originally sought first-degree murder charges against both, with “gang enhancements.”
The murder occurred at a party at the Town House Motel, 940 West Capitol Avenue. There, Wolfington and Silva confronted Brittenum, said the D.A.’s office. Wolfington and Silva entered the hotel room and told other partygoers to leave the room. Others protested and an argument ensued. Witnesses testified that Silva then began punching the victim and Wolfington stabbed the victim at least sixteen times with a six-inch “butterfly” knife. Wolfington stopped stabbing the victim when one partygoer began screaming for help out the hotel window. Wolfington and Silva fled then the scene. The victim suffered stab wounds to his face, chest and arms. Wolfington and Silva were found a short time later hiding in heavy brush near some railroad tracks.
Also, according to the D.A.’s office, the prosecution introduced evidence of Wolfington’s and Silva’s gang history and membership. Wolfington is a member of the “Broderick Boys” criminal street gang and also shares membership with Silva in a newer gang called the “Northern Ryders.” During the murder, witnesses testified that Wolfington told the victim that he was a Broderick Boy. Gang expert testimony argued that when a gang member either asks or describes where he is from, that this is effectively a challenge, in gang parlance. An expert for the prosecution also testified that violent crimes such as murders elevate the level of fear of a gang, creating a benefit by discouraging witnesses from coming forward to report crimes. As the prosecution explained, the victim’s refusal to leave the room was an act of disrespect that would diminish the reputation of the gang if the disrespect was not answered with violence.
District Attorney Reisig praised local police in a press statement.
“The West Sacramento Police Department and the prosecution team worked hard in convicting a dangerous criminal who took a man’s life,” said Reisig.
A court trial regarding Wolfington’s past convictions is scheduled for July 1 before Judge Stephen L. Mock, who presided over the trial. Wolfington will be sentenced after the conclusion of the court trial. He faces life in prison.
Wolfington was at the center of a local court case decided in 2007.
The Yolo County District Attorney’s office crafted an anti-gang injunction in West Sacramento, targeting the Broderick Boys. The D.A.’s office asserted that the gang was an “unincorporated association” with about 350 members. When serving the gang with judicial notice, the notice was delivered only to Wolfington – with the assumption that this would be adequate legal “service” to the entire gang.
The ACLU and others challenged the process, and a judge agreed that service was inadequate. The original injunction was tossed out. The D.A.’s office and local police have since crafted and instituted a new version of the gang injunction, which provides a curfew and other restrictions on “validated” gang members in much of the city’s north.
Copyright News-Ledger 2013