ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis man was convicted Thursday for fatally shooting a man while the two were riding in the same car on Interstate 70.

The shooting happened around 2 a.m. on May 15, 2020, on westbound I-70 near West Florissant Avenue.

Brian Williams and Leonard Ward were riding in a vehicle driven by a friend, Edouard Claypool. Williams and Ward got into a verbal argument. At some point, Williams, who was in the backseat, produced a gun and shot Ward in the head three times.

Ward died immediately. He was 53. His body was later found along an off-ramp from I-70 to West Florissant.

Prosecutors said Williams admitted that he killed Ward and tossed the gun as he ran from police.

Williams, now 59, waived his right to a jury trial and allowed a judge to decide his fate. The judge found Williams guilty of second-degree murder and armed criminal action.

Meanwhile, Claypool, who witnessed the murder, refused to testify against Williams. He was held in contempt of court as a result.

Williams will be sentenced on Dec. 8. Because of his criminal record as a “persistent felony offender,” he faces between 10 and 30 years in state prison.