On Dec. 17, 2021 a jury found defendant Will Watson guilty of the second-degree murder of Gregory Ignacio, Jr. The jury also found true the enhancement for personally and intentionally discharging a firearm causing death to another person.
On September 22, 2016, 19-year-old Gregory Ignacio and some friends purchased marijuana from Jacob Felipe in front of Mr. Felipe’s apartment on Fairview Street in Berkeley. Mr. Ignacio and Mr. Felipe had previously been friends and grew up together on Fairview Street; however, their friendship had ended some time in early 2016 following a dispute over marijuana. During the September 22, 2016 marijuana deal, Mr. Ignacio and Mr. Felipe exchanged words near Mr. Felipe’s driveway. Following that exchange, Mr. Ignacio and his friends walked away from the area. Mr. Felipe returned inside his apartment complex where the defendant, who he knew through marijuana dealing, was waiting for him. Mr. Felipe told the defendant that Mr. Ignacio had “gotten in his face” out on the street. The defendant replied he was going to go “check” Ignacio and “get up on him.”
The defendant left Mr. Felipe’s apartment complex and found Mr. Ignacio and his friends walking on Fairview Street less than one block away. The defendant approached Mr. Ignacio and asked “do you have a problem with J? You don’t mess with Jake!” When Mr. Ignacio replied, “Who are you?” the defendant shouted, “This is Fairview!” He then pulled a firearm from his pants and shot Mr. Ignacio twice, killing him.
Two cartridge casings left at the crime scene were of the same make and caliber as a Glock model 21 firearm registered to the defendant. The defendant’s DNA was also located on those cartridge casings. Additionally, Mr. Ignacio’s friends provided descriptions of the defendant to police and subsequently identified the defendant during a police lineup procedure.
Watson faces 40 years to life in state prison. He is expected to be sentenced on March 25, 2022.
DDA Adam McConney prosecuted the case with aid from Inspector Phillip Green and Victim Witness Advocate Stephanie Lynch.