Jury Finds Man Guilty of 1st Degree Murder for Killing 12 Year Old Boy

For Immediate Release
Friday, March 08, 2013

CONTACT: Stephanie Ong Stillman, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1167 or (415) 740-5134
ADA Alex Bastian, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1931

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – District Attorney George Gascón announced today that a jury convicted William Terrence McKnight, age 37, of first degree murder for fatally shooting a 12 year old boy at the Alemany public housing projects on May 17, 2002.

“This defendant murdered a 12 year old boy in front of his little sister, and thought he could make a run for it,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “The victim’s family may never be the same, but thanks to witnesses who came forward justice was served.”

According to court documents, the victim Keith Frazier, age 12 of San Francisco, was getting a ride home from his older brother. As the car pulled up in front of their apartment on the 900 block of Ellsworth, the defendant stepped in the street and fired numerous rounds into the vehicle. Keith Frazier was hit several times, and his older brother Kevin Wortham was grazed by a bullet. Bullets also missed their 3 year old sister in the car. The shooting was in retribution for a murder from earlier that year. The defendant had believed that Wortham was involved in the shooting from earlier that year. The defendant had evaded authorities until 2010. He was found hiding in Texas and was extradited to San Francisco in October of 2010.

The trial was in front of Judge Tsenin in Department 25. The jury deliberated for less than 4 days and found the defendant guilty of first degree murder with a gun enhancement allegation, and guilty of attempted murder with a gun enhancement allegation for grazing Kevin Wortham. McKnight faces 79 years to life in prison. He will be back in court Monday, March 11 in Department 25 for post-trial motions.

The conviction of William Terrence McKnight is the result of first-rate police work by SFPD officers Daniel Gibbs, Curtis Liu, Maricela Sainez, Angela Poon, Michael Moody, Edith Lewis, Sgt. Kevin Knoble, and Commander Mikail Ali. Additional investigation and help was provided by District Attorney Investigators Henry McKenzie and Erica Dixon. Martine Barbier and Vincent Carabeo were the Victim Advocates. Assistant District Attorney Todd Barrett prosecuted the case.