E Point Perfect

Willie Gray, 67, Sentenced for Killing Transient Shawn Puzzo in Hillcrest


Scene of Hillcrest slaying as police look for clues.
Scene of Hillcrest slaying in 2020 as police looked for clues. Image via NBC San Diego

One of two men charged with killing a homeless man in Hillcrest was sentenced Monday to 11 years in state prison.

Willie Gray, 67, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in connection with the April 15, 2020, slaying of Shawn Timothy Puzzo and was sentenced Monday to the agreed-upon prison term. Gray’s co-defendant, 42-year-old Darcell Moore, was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder, robbery, and assault, and is set to be sentenced next month.

Puzzo, 60, was found near the intersection of Front and West Washington streets, suffering from “apparent trauma to his head and torso,” according to homicide Lt. Matt Dobbs of the San Diego Police Department.

Prosecutors said Puzzo was stabbed multiple times and robbed. Medics took Puzzo, who had lived on the streets of San Diego for several years, to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Dobbs said.

Police said a witness description helped investigators identify and arrest Gray and Moore.

City News Service contributed to this article.


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