Fresno father-son face possible trial for murder of friend's 'menace' roommate

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno father and son face a potential trial for murder, but a judge could have to decide whether the victim was a deadly threat to them.

44-year-old Michael Williams was killed last February at a home where he was living as a guest.

His host wanted him out, but couldn't get Williams to leave. Not while he was alive, anyway.

Surveillance video shows Chris Gayer pull up to his home near Ashcroft and Marks just before his roommate died on the night of February 22, 2021.

Only Action News can share this video, which also shows the accused killers arriving right after Gayer.

He says he brought friends because he was trying to kick Williams out, but had grown afraid of the man who moved in with him just recently.

"He threatened to beat my head in with a 40(-oz. beer) bottle," Gayer said. "He threatened to shoot me. He threatened to burn my house down. He threatened a lot of things."

Gayer says the conflict escalated when Williams seemed to be taking over the house and getting rid of things Gayer and his family owned.

"He was trying to say it was cleaning up while he was removing our belongings from the home," Gayer said. "I asked him to stop and that's when he started flipping out on me."

Gayer says he enlisted help from his friend Aaron Cooper, who brought his father, Kevin.

They went into the house and confronted Williams.

Gayer says he didn't see much, but he heard what turned out to be the deadly shot.

"I heard a pop and a lot of commotion," he said. "Screaming and running."

About 15 minutes after they walked in, surveillance video shows the three men leaving.

Gayer says they drove out to the country and he was told to burn his clothes and stay quiet or he'd end up like Williams.

Police only found Williams hours later after a call from one of his friends in Southern California.

A judge is expected to decide Wednesday whether there's enough evidence for a murder trial against the Coopers.
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