Queen Anne

Tuba Man killer headed back to prison

Tuba Man killer headed back to prison
Billy Chambers as sketched Friday during sentencing in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

SEATTLE -- The 20-year-old convicted in the death of Seattle's Tuba Man is headed back to prison, this time for illegal possession of a firearm. It will be Billy Chambers fourth time being locked up since his 2008 conviction.

Chambers and a handful of other men were spotted by a Burien resident stealing items out of a car's trunk in October. When officers pulled Chambers over, they found a stolen assault rifle in the car, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

As a felon, Chambers is not allowed to possess a firearm and was sentenced to six years in prison and three years of supervised release Friday. He pleaded guilty to the charge back in February.

Chambers was convicted of manslaughter in 2008 and sentenced to 15 to 36 weeks in juvenile detention for killing Edward McMichael, better known as the Tuba Man,  near the Seattle Center.

McMichael, who had entertained crowds outside local sporting events for years, was walking home when he was beaten up by five teens who tried to rob him. He died from his injuries days later.

After being released for that crime, he was sentenced to another prison term in 2010 for robbing a man in downtown Seattle using a fake gun.

In 2011, Chambers was back in prison for attempted assault and hit and run after intentionally running a woman off the road because she had allegedly reported him for stealing items from her car.

His arrest for possessing the stolen assault rifle came only two weeks after being released from his most recent stint in prison.

During the sentencing Friday, Judge Robert Lasnik urged Chambers to turn his life around.

“This is your last best chance,” he said. “Please take advantage of it.

Outside the courtroom, Chambers' sister said her brother's actions are not reflective of who he is as a person. She said he's made mistakes, but he a truly caring and loving person who lacked good role models and followed his peers down a bad path.

She said she believes Chambers is returning to prison a changed man.

"He's saying things I've never heard him say," she said. "He's growing into a man."