Santa Rosa, CA – April 4, 2017 – Defendant Kahlil Rahim Keith, 37 years old of Windsor, was sentenced yesterday by the Honorable Robert M. Laforge to 9 years in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for the stabbing death of Willie Ray Smith in May, 2015. A jury convicted Keith of Voluntary Manslaughter with
the Use of a Deadly Weapon during a trial conducted in May of last year.
District Attorney Ravitch stated, “Mr. Smith survived for many years on the streets of Sonoma County before suffering a senseless and brutal death at the hands of the Defendant, who had been his friend. We hope this sentence gives peace and a sense of closure to Mr. Smith’s children and family, and to the many friends
he had in this community.”
The charge resulted from the Mother’s Day, 2015, stabbing of Willie Smith, known to many on the street as “One Eyed Willie” outside his home on Red Tail Street in Santa Rosa. Smith had been homeless for many years before being given the opportunity to get off the streets and into a home with a few others who were
similarly situated. Smith and the Defendant had known each other while living on the streets. The day of the incident Smith invited the Defendant to spend the night at the home. However, an argument ensued in the early morning hours. The Defendant left the house, but Mr. Smith, who
was highly intoxicated, came out after him. The Defendant retrieved a large knife from his backpack and stabbed Smith in the chest.
The Defendant was charged with Murder and his case was tried to a jury in May, 2016. The jury acquitted him of Murder, finding him guilty of the less serious crime of Voluntary Manslaughter. The Defendant also had two prior prison commitments, which added two years to his sentence.
The case was prosecuted by Chief Deputy District Attorney Anne C. Masterson, assisted by Deputy District Attorney Dustin Hughson, and District Attorney Investigator David Lundgren. Detective Hector DeLeon of the Santa Rosa Police Department headed the investigation.