Hobo-Hunting Pellet Gun Teens Sentenced After Tragic Serra Mesa Shooting

San Diego, California – A young man was sentenced to five years and eight months in state prison for fatally shooting a 68-year-old homeless woman in Serra Mesa with a pellet gun. William Innes, 19, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of Annette Pershal, known as “Granny Annie” or the “Queen of Serra Mesa.”

Annette Pershal was found unconscious on Sandrock Road in May 2023 and died three days later in the hospital. The Deputy District Attorney stated that Pershal was shot in the head, leg, and torso, with one pellet causing a fatal injury to her aorta. Prior to the shooting, Innes allegedly sent a message to a group chat indicating his intentions to go “hobo hunting with a pellet gun.”

Co-defendant Ryan Hopkins drove Innes to Pershal’s encampment, where she was shot. Innes’ defense attorney expressed that his client had deep remorse over the incident but argued that Hopkins played a larger role in the killing as he knew Pershal, lived in the neighborhood, and purchased the pellet gun used.

Innes, initially charged with murder, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, possessing an assault weapon, and using a dangerous weapon in the slaying. Both parties agreed to the five-year, eight-month prison sentence during Innes’ plea. During the sentencing, Innes apologized to Pershal’s family for the tragic event.

Brandy Nazworth, Pershal’s daughter, shared that her mother was a former parts analyst for General Dynamics and a seamstress before becoming homeless. She urged Innes to use the tragedy to become a better person, emphasizing that Pershal was not just a homeless individual but a beloved mother and grandmother.

Hopkins, also involved in the shooting, pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and received a one-year jail sentence with probation. Despite the sentencing, the weight of the tragedy still hangs heavy on the victims’ families, as they continue to grapple with the loss of their loved one.