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Electrician Gets Life Sentence in Slayings of 4 Supervisors

Official Business

February 08, 1997

The Los Angeles city electrician who hunted down and killed four of his supervisors in a 1995 shooting rampage at the C. Erwin Piper Technical Center was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

After impassioned, tearful pleas from the families of victims, Superior Court Judge Edward Ferns ordered Willie Woods, 42, of Upland to prison for the rest of his life.

Seething after more than a year of bad reviews and reprimands, Woods pulled a 9-millimeter pistol from his toolbox July 19, 1995, and tracked down his superiors in offices and hallways at Piper Tech, a large city facility housing communications and logistics operations near downtown.

James Walton, 60, Tony Gain, 72, Neil Carpenter, 61, and Marty Wakefield, 57, were shot to death.

"You will wish the jury had given you the death penalty," Lydia Gain, a widow of one victim, said before the sentencing. "You will be one of the living dead."

Woods was convicted Nov. 5 of first-degree murder in the deaths of Walton, Gain and Carpenter. He was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Wakefield.

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