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January 30, 2015

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Man sentenced in shooting death of Palo Verde freshman

Parents of Christopher Privett express sorrow over loss of their son


Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Sun

Ezekiel Williams lowers his head while waiting for his sentencing hearing to begin Wednesday at the Regional Justice Center. Williams pleaded guilty June 24 to his role in the shooting death of Palo Verde High School freshman Christopher Privett.

Ezekiel Williams sentencing

Ezekiel Williams apologizes to the family of Christopher Privett and his own family during his sentencing in the death of Privett Wednesday at the Regional Justice Center. Launch slideshow »
Christopher Privett

Christopher Privett

Ezekiel Williams was sentenced Wednesday to a minimum of eight years on one count of voluntary manslaughter with use of a deadly weapon and one count of accessory to murder in the shooting death of a high school freshman last year.

The decision was handed down by District Court Judge Stefany Miley. Williams pleaded guilty June 24.

On Feb. 15, 2008, Palo Verde High School freshman Christopher Privett was shot in a drive-by shooting. The 15-year-old later died from the wound at Summerlin Hospital.

According to police reports, a gray Pontiac driven by Williams passed by Privett and three of his friends on Alta Drive. Witnesses said harsh words and gang signs were exchanged between members of the two groups.

The car drove by the four boys again near Pavillion Center Drive. Williams said he handed the gun to Gerald Davidson, 17, who fired it out the window.

In court Wednesday, Williams, 20, said he was sorry about the incident, both to the Privett family and his own. The victim's parents, Michael and Barbara Privett, expressed regret and sorrow over the loss of their son.

"It is very hard to express how I feel still," Michael Privett said.

He said his family has changed drastically since Christopher's death and often thinks about what might have been.

He listed small tokens that Christopher left behind: model cars, a piece of coral, a baseball card.

"That's what I have left besides memories," he said. "I don't need those things."

Barbara Privett said there isn't a day that goes by that she doesn't look at her son's picture and cry.

"It's hard to describe," she said. "It's devastating."

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