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Ex-public defender worker charged with murder in California

SAN FRANCISCO — A Northern California paralegal who once worked for a public defender’s office in a second-chance program for recently released inmates has been charged with killing someone he thought was a police informant.

William M. Edwards was expected to appear Tuesday on charges of conspiracy and murder in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of San Francisco.

Prosecutors say the 38-year-old fatally shot a 22-year-old man he wrongly believed was a witness in a gang investigation. Investigators say Edwards is a member of an Oakland, California gang, according to court records.

The public defender’s office told the East Bay Times it hired Edwards for a temporary position in 2016 after he served a 15-year prison sentence for manslaughter.