A former San Francisco drug gang member was convicted in federal court today of 16 counts, including three murders that could bring him a possible death penalty. The jury verdict in the case of Dennis Cyrus, 24, a former member of the Page Street gang in the Western Addition district of the city, came after nearly three months of trial in the court of U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney in San Francisco.Jurors will return to court on May 19 for a second phase of trial to determine whether Cyrus should be given a rare federal death penalty.The last death penalty meted out in federal court in San Francisco was in 1948, when two Alcatraz prisoners who participated in a bloody escape attempt in 1946 were convicted, sentenced to death and executed for the killings of two guards. Cyrus was convicted of killing three men in gang-related murders in August and September 2002, including Ray Jimmerson, a member of the Big Block gang in the Hunters Point district who had agreed to become a federal witness.Cyrus was also convicted of racketeering, conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, an attempted murder and using guns in violent crimes. Prosecutor William Frentzen told the jury at the opening of the trial in February that Cyrus committed the murders at age 18 because he wanted gang status as a “head buster.” Defense attorney John Philipsborn in his opening statement questioned the motivation of prosecution witnesses who were given immunity from prosecution for other crimes, lesser charges or financial benefits in witness protection programs. Several other gang members indicted with Cyrus in 2005 pleaded guilty to various crimes including murder conspiracy and attempted murder, but Cyrus is the only one for whom prosecutors sought a death penalty.