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Former airman in murder case gets 20 years to life

A former US Air Force airman was sentenced Tuesday in Yuba County Superior Court to serve 20 years to life in prison for his role in the murder of a Marysville man on New Year's Eve.

William Vincent Silliman Jr., 22, played a key role in a plan to attack Steven "Sam" Moore. He drove the getaway car and supplied shooter Marcus Nelson Hume with the 12-gauge shotgun he used to kill Moore.

"If it wasn't for (Silliman), my brother would still be here with us," said Massalina Lane, Moore's sister.

Silliman's attorney, Rick Worrell, said an appeal will be filed today. Worrell said his client should have been convicted of manslaughter, not murder.

"Mr. Silliman was unarmed and did not intend nor did he expect the shooting to occur," Worrell said. "I expect the appellate court will set aside the conviction."

Silliman was convicted last month of second-degree murder by a jury in connection with the Dec. 31, 2011, shooting death of Moore.

Mechele Cook, a deputy Yuba County district attorney, called the appeal "standard" procedure.

"It's the right sentence," Cook said.

Moore, 38, was shot and killed while standing in the road outside a friend's apartment complex in the 1100 block of Arthur Street in east Marysville.

"He must be viewed as a serious threat to the people of this community," probation officials said in Silliman's sentencing report.

Silliman knew that Hume was furious with Moore when he gave Hume the shotgun and drove Hume to and from the shooting, authorities said. Silliman was discharged from the Air Force in August, after spending eight months in jail awaiting trial.

"I just don't understand why he helped murder Sam when he was in the Air Force," Lane said. "He should have been saving people's lives, not killing someone for no reason."

Silliman and four others said they believed Hume intended to rob Moore and all said they did not believe Hume would pull the trigger.

Tensions between Moore and Hume centered around an 18-year-old Marysville woman with whom both had been involved romantically, according to trial testimony.

Hume, 33, pleaded guilty in September and was sentenced to 55 years to life in prison.

Silliman was the only defendant who took his case to trial and the last of the main players to be sentenced. Five other co-defendants, including Hume, accepted plea deals from the district attorney's office.

CONTACT Rob Parsons at or 749-4785. Find him on Facebook at /ADcrimebeat.

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