The Maricopa County Attorney's Office says a jury has convicted a man in a deadly crash that killed an Arizona State University student.
The jury found 49-year-old Berry Williams guilty of murder, unlawful flight from law enforcement, endangerment and shoplifting.
At a minimum Williams faces 25-years to natural life in prison for the murder.
“This was more than just drinking and driving,” noted County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “This defendant displayed a total disregard for human life and recklessly created a grave risk of death to anyone who might come in his path. His decision to steal beer and flee the scene of the theft wound up killing an innocent man with a promising future. We will seek a maximum sentence to prevent Mr. Williams from further endangering the citizens of Maricopa County,” he added.
The case stems from a Feb. 1, 2010 beer run when police said Williams stole several packs of beer from a west Phoenix store.
Williams' car eventually struck a car driven by 27 year-old Abel Abebe. Police said Abebe died as a result of injuries from the crash.
A medical blood draw determined Williams' alcohol concentration was .121 percent and also showed the presence of cocaine.
Acting Phoenix Police Chief Joseph Yahner said: “This suspect made choices that killed a man who was working and going to school to better his life. Each year our community suffers the loss of innocent victims like him who are killed by drunk drivers. These crimes tear at the very heart of our community and cannot be tolerated. The Phoenix Police Department is committed to aggressively enforcing DUI laws.”
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