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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

December 19, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Judge decides ‘Tuba Man’ killer to remain behind bars

Billy Chambers isn’t going anywhere — at least for now.

At a hearing last week on federal firearms charges, U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Alice Theiler ordered Chambers released on bond, with GPS monitoring and other restrictions. But before that could happen, federal prosecutors opposed the release of the 19-year-old felon, calling him “a danger to the community and potential flight risk.”

During a hearing today in U.S. District Court, Theiler said prosecutors have provided her with details on Chambers’ prior criminal history, including his juvenile conviction in connection with the slaying of Ed “Tuba Man” McMichael. She found the risk of Chambers failing to return to court too high and ordered him to remain in the federal lockup.

Chambers’ grandmother and great-grandmother had agreed to take him in if he was released.

“What I’m concerned about is what looks like escalating recidivism,” Theiler said in court.

In addition to ordering Chambers held in jail, Theiler also arraigned him the charge of felon in possession of a firearm.

Chambers has spent much of his teenage years in and out of juvenile detention, jail and state prison. He’s now facing federal charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm. If convicted, he faces 10-year sentence, three years of probation and a $250,000 fine.

The federal charge stems from Chambers’ arrest on Oct. 3 after King County sheriff’s deputies stopped a car he was driving in Burien after someone reported that he and a companion had stolen items out of a vehicle, according to a probable-cause statement outlining the police case.

Deputies discovered a rifle in the trunk, the statement says.

In July 2010, Chambers, then 17, and two other teens were arrested and charged with robbing a man at gunpoint in downtown Seattle. Chambers later pleaded guilty to first-degree theft and was sentenced to eight months in juvenile detention.

Chambers was one of three juveniles who pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the Oct. 25, 2008, fatal beating of McMichael, known for playing his tuba outside Seattle sporting events for two decades.

Chambers was 15 when he participated in the attack on McMichael.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Tuba Man, U.S. District Court

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