2008 shooting ends with murder conviction and a 40-year prison sentence

Demar Michael Nelson was 21 when he fired the 16 shots that killed James Guillory Jr. in 2008.

He was 23 in December 2010, when Pierce County prosecutors charged him with first-degree murder in connection with that incident. He was 27 this week when a jury found him guilty.

Friday, he was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Barring good time, Nelson will be 67 when he gets out.

Nelson’s conviction and sentence end one chapter in a long-running crackdown on local gang violence spearheaded by a team that included Tacoma police, deputy county prosecutor Greg Greer and the FBI.

“This is another successful prosecution of a violent gang member by assistant chief criminal deputy Greg Greer, who leads our gang unit,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

Guillory, a 28-year-old University Place father, was killed Dec. 27, 2008, while having a night out with friends. It ended badly; Guillory got into a fight with another man outside a Lakewood bar.

Police broke up the fight; those involved ended up at a home in the 5400 block of South Oakes Street, where another fight broke out.

During the scuffle, Guillory took off his shirt and challenged Nelson to fight him, prosecutors said. Nelson pulled out his 9mm handgun and fired 18 shots at Guillory, emptying the magazine.

Sixteen of the shots found their target. Guillory died at the scene.

Information from News Tribune archives is included in this report.