RICHMOND -- The Contra Costa District Attorney's Office on Thursday charged a 37-year-old Richmond man with murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle in the roadway slaying of an acquaintance last weekend.

William Chamberlin fatally shot 33-year-old Samuel Morales on Oct. 13 as Morales was driving at Harbour Way and Ohio Avenue, according to deputy district attorney Mary Knox.

Chamberlin told police that Morales had threatened his estranged wife and children in South San Francisco, but investigators found that the woman had never heard of any threat, Knox said.

On the day of the shooting, Morales was in the process of moving out of a residential shed in which he and Chamberlin had been paying rent to live in separate rooms.

Witnesses recalled that after a brief confrontation in which Chamberlin shouted profanity at Morales and Morales said nothing, Morales got into his vehicle and drove off, Knox said. Chamberlin got into his own car, caught up to Morales and shot him five times.

Police said Morales managed to drive another three blocks before crashing at Ohio Avenue and Seventh Street.

Chamberlin, who was arrested the following day, did not enter a plea during his arraignment in a Richmond courtroom Thursday afternoon. Bail was set at $2.25 million. He is scheduled to return to court Oct. 24.

Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.



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