SALT LAKE CITY — A West Valley man found guilty of murder for shooting his friend in the back was sentenced to prison Monday.
Christopher James Bonds, 28, was sentenced to at least 15 years and up to life in prison for murder, a first-degree felony, in the death of Byron Williams, 26.
A jury found Bonds guilty of the murder and four firearms charges in January. He was exonerated on one count of discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony.
Police were called to 1800 W. Parkway Blvd. on Nov. 20, 2016, where they found Williams lying in the parking lot with a gunshot wound. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries.
Bonds told police he and Williams had been arguing and then began struggling over Bonds' gun, according to charging documents. The gun fired once into the ground as the struggle ensued and then dropped to the ground.
Bonds then picked up the gun, racked the slide and fired three shots at Williams as he ran away, according to charging documents. A medical examiner determined Williams was shot in the upper back.
Police said Bonds and Williams were friends at one point.
An additional prison term of at least one and up to 15 years for possession of a weapon by a restricted person, a second-degree felony, was ordered to run back-to-back to the murder charge. Two sentences of felony discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony, will run concurrently. A sentence for discharge of a firearm with serious bodily injury, a second-degree felony, is still being considered.1 comment on this story
Bonds had also been charged with two counts of aggravated assault, three counts of commission of domestic violence in the presence of a child, and two counts of felony discharge of a firearm, all third-degree felonies. Bonds' wife told police that she had fled their house after being assaulted by her husband, prompting him to fire a round at her, according to court documents.
That case was dismissed Monday because prosecutors are "unable to locate key witnesses in the matter," according to court documents.