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Originally published Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 7:19 PM

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One of 'Tuba Man' killers to remain in jail in firearms case

Billy Chambers, one of the youths who served time for the beating death of Ed "Tuba Man" McMichael, was ordered to remain in federal custody Wednesday.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Billy Chambers isn't going anywhere — at least for now.

At a detention hearing last week on federal firearms charges, U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Alice Theiler allowed the release of Chambers on bond, with GPS monitoring and other restrictions. But before that happened, federal prosecutors opposed the release of the 19-year-old felon, calling him "a danger to the community and potential flight risk."

During another hearing Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court, Theiler said prosecutors have provided details on Chambers' prior criminal history, including his juvenile conviction in connection with the slaying of Ed "Tuba Man" McMichael. She found the risk of Chambers failing to return to court too high and ordered him to remain in the federal Detention Center.

Chambers' grandmother and great-grandmother had agreed to take him in if he were released.

"What I'm concerned about is what looks like escalating recidivism," Theiler said in court.

In addition to ordering Chambers held in jail, Theiler arraigned him on the charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Chambers has spent much of his teenage years in and out of juvenile detention, jail and state prison.

He's now facing federal charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm. If convicted, he faces a 10-year sentence, three years of probation and a $250,000 fine.

The federal charge stems from Chambers' arrest Oct. 3 after King County sheriff's deputies stopped a car he was driving in Burien after someone reported that he and a companion had stolen items out of a vehicle, according to a probable-cause statement outlining the police case.

Deputies discovered a rifle in the trunk, the statement says.

Chambers was one of three juveniles who pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the Oct. 25, 2008, fatal beating of McMichael, known for playing his tuba outside Seattle sporting events for two decades. Chambers was 15 when he participated in the attack on McMichael.

In July 2010, Chambers, then 17, and two other teens were arrested and charged with robbing a man at gunpoint in downtown Seattle. Chambers later pleaded guilty to first-degree theft and was sentenced to eight months in juvenile detention.

In October 2011, Chambers pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree-assault after he deliberately rammed a woman's car after she reported him to police for an earlier car prowl. He was sentenced to 22 months in state prison but served only a portion of the sentence.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.

Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.

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