Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: What happened to the suspects in the 2005 killing of Donald Willis in the Arden area?
Submitted by: James, Sacramento
ANSWER: Four men were arrested for the execution-style killing of 21-year-old Donald Larnell Willis at his Arden-area duplex in May 2005.
According to stories in The Bee, Willis was asleep in his bedroom when three intruders burst in through a window about 5:15 a.m. They rousted Willis from his bed, ignoring four other people in the home, including a 9-year-old girl.
Willis, a rap music producer, was beaten, then forced at gunpoint into his bathroom where he was killed with at least one gunshot to the head. Deputies who responded to 911 calls, found him dead in the bathtub. None of the other people in the home was injured.
Police said they believed the motive for the killing was robbery involving money and narcotics.
Arrested were Clark Robinson and Carlos Foster, both of Oakland; Gerald Ellis of Sparks, Nev.; and Markus Mayers of Sacramento.
A Sacramento County jury found Robinson, Ellis and Foster guilty of murder and robbery. Robinson and Ellis were each sentenced to life without possibility of parole, and Foster was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, according to Sacramento Superior Court online records.
Mayers pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and robbery, and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Robinson, now 26, is at California State Prison Los Angeles County, in Lancaster, and Ellis, 32, is at California State Prison, Corcoran. Foster, 27, is at California State Prison, Sacramento, in Folsom, and Mayers, 33, is at a California out-of-state correctional facility in Mississippi.
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