OAKLAND — An Antioch rapper known by the stage names of “Wild Bill” or “Billy Bankroll” has been sentenced to 13 years in state prison for a fatal shooting of a man outside a Oakland nightclub in 2014.
Billy Shaffer Jr., 33, of Antioch, was acquitted of murder charges in July for the death of Connie M. Sowels III, 27, of Berkeley, who was fatally shot about 1:18 a.m. Oct. 1, 2014 in the 1100 block of Clay Street outside the Bella Ultra Lounge, 561 11th St in Oakland.
Shaffer cried tears of joy in the courtroom in July when jurors found him not guilty of all murder charges— first-degree, second-degree and involuntary manslaughter. The jury convicted him however, of using a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
On Friday, he was sentenced to 13 years in state prison by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Allan Hymer.
Police said at the time of the shooting that Shaffer instigated a physical altercation with Sowels before he grabbed a gold chain from his neck and shot him when Sowels tried to get the jewelry back. Shaffer allegedly fled the scene.
Defense attorneys for Shaffer, however, argued that he was acting in self-defense, and that Sowels had started the fight over a woman Shaffer was leaving the club with that night.
Shaffer had a previous 2010 conviction for gun possession he was not registered to own in Sacramento County.
Bay City News contributed to this story.
Rapper ‘Wild Bill’ sentenced in Oakland nightclub shooting