Former Ballard High student gets nearly 30 years after killing man for his cell phone

SEATTLE -- A former Ballard High School football player was given the maximum sentence after killing a man for his cell phone in Seattle in 2014.

Byron White, 19, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree murder in King County Superior Court.

On Monday, a judge sentenced White to 344 months in prison.

Police say White, who was a 17-year-old Ballard High School senior and football player at the time, fatally shot 54-year-old David Peterson after trying to take his phone in February 2014 as Peterson was walking in his Greenwood neighborhood.

The King County Prosecutor's Office said White had tried to steal the victim's cellphone. After a brief struggle, Peterson was able to keep control of the cellphone and White walked away. When Peterson called 911, White walked back and confronted him. He then shot Peterson in the chest, took the victim’s cellphone and left.

White was arrested in March 2014 at Sea-Tac Airport as he tried to board a plane to Atlanta.