Former Ballard High student pleads guilty to killing man for his cellphone in Seattle last year

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Byron White (Photo: Facebook via Seattle Police Dept.)

SEATTLE — A former Ballard High School football player pleaded guilty Monday to killing a man for his cellphone in Seattle in 2014.

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

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.

He faces up to 28 1/2 years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 9.