Joseph Ray Rice was convicted in a jury trial March 2 of the first-degree murder of Delvon Williams to benefit a gang. On Nov. 19, 2010, Williams, 26, took a friend out to the nightclub for his 21st birthday. Williams had never been to Karma before, according to his family member. The surveillance video shows Rice walking around the victim on the patio prior to the shooting. While Rice was talking to Williams’ group, the victim indicated he was a Blood gang member, prosecutors said. The video shows Rice pull out a gun and shoot Williams in the head from a few feet away as the victim collapsed to the ground. “He was a big teddy bear with a smile, no matter what color you are or where you are from,” said Patricia McCray, the victim’s mother, in her impact statement Tuesday. Rice was on the run for four months until authorities arrested him in Lenwood in March 2011. His defense attorney said the shooting had nothing to do with the gang rivalry. Rice wasn’t happy Williams was loud and boisterous speaking about his gang affiliation and criminal history to a girl Rice was keeping an eye on, Deputy Public Defender David Sanders said. Rice has a strike from his 2004 attempted robbery conviction in San Bernardino, for which he was sentenced to five years in prison. When Victorville Superior Court Judge John Tomberlin sentenced him to the maximum possible prison terms, there was light applause from the audience.
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