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Valley Murder Suspect Arrested in Tennessee : Crime: Kevin Hill of Pacoima is said to have shot a man who accidentally bumped into him at a party.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A hard-core gang member, wanted for the fatal shooting of a Canoga Park man who accidentally bumped into him at a party, has been arrested in Tennessee, authorities said Friday.

Kevin Germaine Hill, wanted by the Los Angeles Police Department on suspicion of murder and suspected of involvement in another homicide, was arrested in Memphis on Thursday by members of a multi-agency fugitive task force, police said.

“We have him in custody, but that’s all I can say,” said Detective Frank Taylor of the Shelby County (Tenn.) sheriff’s office. Authorities said Hill was arrested by the Memphis-area Fugitive Task Force, which includes investigators from the city of Memphis, Shelby County and the FBI.

Hill waived extradition on Friday, and detectives from the LAPD’s Foothill Division said they would go to Tennessee next week to escort Hill back to the San Fernando Valley.

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Hill, who police say shot 23-year-old Wesley Williams in an unprovoked attack in June, could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole if he is convicted of murder, said LAPD homicide Detective Rick Plows.

“He is a hard-core Pacoima . . . gang member,” said Plows. “He is a danger to the community, and I’m glad he has been apprehended.”

Foothill detectives tracked Hill to Memphis through tips and other means, then forwarded his photographs, fingerprints and other identification to the task force, Plows said. “We just heard he was in the area and got a name of a person he might have been staying with.”

Williams was found in a puddle of blood about 11 p.m. June 12 in the 11560 block of Wheeler Street in Lake View Terrace. Police obtained the warrant for Hill’s arrest 11 days later.

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The shooting occurred during a party on the same block where Williams’ relatives were holding a party, police said. Williams had returned to Lake View Terrace to attend the family party after spending 10 years living near Downtown Los Angeles and in Canoga Park, police said.

After attending that party, Williams went down the street to the second party because he knew the hosts and wanted to see them, police said.

As the second party progressed, fights broke out in the back yard and Williams, trying to avoid the trouble, walked around the side of the house intending to leave, police said. At that time, investigators believe, Williams accidentally bumped into Hill and the two men exchanged words.

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Hill, who knew Williams, followed him into the front yard and began shooting at him, firing many times, according to police.

Williams died at Pacifica Industrial Medical Center in Sun Valley.

Hill also was among several men arrested for their alleged involvement in a gang-related slaying in January, but prosecutors declined to file accessory-to-murder charges against him in that case, despite statements by witnesses placing him at the scene, Plows said.

“It was their opinion that they did not have enough to file murder charges against him at that time, although there were eyewitnesses that saw him involved in a fight preceding the shooting,” Plows said. “It’s a legal question.”

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Prosecutors in that case could not be reached for comment. The actual gunman in that case, Sean Collins, was sentenced to 33 years to life in prison on Wednesday for killing Kervin Bailey, Plows said.


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