A San Francisco jury found Roland Pouncy, 44, guilty of first-degree murder in the fatal 2012 strangling of Richard Sprague, 47, Friday (May 9).
Sprague’s body was found February 19, 2012 at 125 Julian Avenue, just blocks away from the Mission district home he’d shared with his domestic partner, David Nielsen.
Gayle Takashima, Sprague’s sister, let out a loud cry when the court clerk announced the verdict Friday. Pouncy was wide-eyed as he turned toward her but didn’t show any obvious reaction to the verdict.
Jurors weren’t available for comment after the session. Judge Donald Sullivan said they still needed to determine whether Pouncy was also guilty of robbery.
After court, Nielsen, said “Richard was the most gentle person I’ve ever known. There’s no way he would have caused any problem with anybody.” He said he’d have more to say about the verdict at Pouncy’s sentencing, which hasn’t been set.
Takashima, who’s 53 and lives in Seattle, said, “My family is extremely gratified at the outcome.”
During the three-day trial, Assistant District Attorney John Rowland cited DNA that was linked to Pouncy and that had come from Sprague’s neck as being among the key evidence in the case.
In his testimony last week, Pouncy acknowledged having Sprague’s debit card with him when he was arrested hours after Sprague was killed, but he said he’d seen Sprague’s body lying on the sidewalk and felt for his pulse before taking the card.
Deputy Public Defender Stephen Rosen declined to comment immediately.
The Bay Area Reporter will have more on this story in the Thursday, May 15 edition.