Gang leader convicted of paralyzing gang member who wanted to leave

A Suffolk Superior Court jury today found Donald Ray "Mann" Williams, 26, guilty of numerous charges, including armed assault with intent to murder, for a shooting that will require a former friend to use a wheelchair the rest of his life, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Prosecutors say the victim was a member of the Greenwood Street Packers, for whom Williams was head thug. On Nov. 23, 2007, however, the victim met with other gang members and told them he was giving up gang life. According to a statement from the District Attorney's office:

"The victim returned the handgun Williams had given him and bought his friends a meal as he prepared to give up the life they had shared. In the early morning hours of Nov. 24, they drove him to his girlfriend's home on Torrey Street in a two-car caravan.

"As the unarmed man walked toward that residence, the evidence showed, Williams got out of one vehicle, walked up behind him, and fired three shots into his back. The victim fell to the ground and turned to face the man who had once been his best friend.

" 'Bitch-ass [expletive],' Williams said, pulling the trigger again and shooting the man in the face. 'That's what you get.' "

Prosecutors say Williams and the others left him lying there. Despite his damaged spinal cord, he was able to crawl over to his cell phone - lying a few feet away, put the battery back in and call his girlfriend's sister. At Boston Medical Center, doctors put him in a coma for several weeks to help him recuperate.

Two alleged members of the gang refused to testify at the trial, citing their Fifth Amemdment rights.

Williams will be sentenced tomorrow. He is already in prison for another shooting.