A 22-year-old man was convicted Monday for the death Rylan Fuchs, 17, who was shot and killed outside his El Capitan Drive home in Danville in 2009.
It took the jury just 40 minutes of delibirations to convict Walter Bell of Berkeley, the Contra Costa Times reports. Since the conviction includes murder enhancements for using a gun and committing the killing in the act of a robbery, Bell faces a state-mandated life sentence without the possibility of parole. He is planned to be sentenced June 21.
"It was pretty much cut and dry," jury foreman Steve Headen told the Times. "After hearing all the testimony and evidence, there was nothing that left a question."
At trial, the prosecution told the jury that Fuchs was a small-time marijuana dealer who was set up to be robbed on the night of Jan. 20, 2009 by Bell and his friend Aaron Marks.
Fuchs climbed out of his bedroom room window to sell four ounces of marijuana to Marks. Bell then emerged with a gun and as Fuchs tried to retreat, Bell shot him in the neck. Bell later confessed to his girlfriend and a male friend, Contra Costa deputy district attorney Jill Henderson said.
Bell testified that he was in the area when Fuchs was killed, but he was smoking marijuana and didn't play a role in the shooting or robbery. He said he believes Fuchs was shot by Marks, Fuchs' former schoolmate and Bell's friend. Marks was killed in Oakland last year.
Headen, the just foreman, told the Times they found many inconsistencies in Bell's testimony and that "it was one lie after another."
"I'm just overwhelmed," said Fuchs' mother, Karen Williams-Harmon, after the verdict. "I'm so glad that there's a little bit of closure to this."