An Oakland man was convicted of two counts of murder Friday for the shooting deaths of two men in broad daylight in West Oakland four years ago.
An Alameda County Superior Court jury deliberated for only about
half a day before convicting DeShawn Reed, 30, of first-degree murder in the
death of 29-year-old Victor Johns and second-degree murder for the death of
56-year-old John Jones.
Johns and Jones were both fatally shot in the 1000 block of 30th
Street in Oakland at about 2:35 p.m. on March 5, 2010.
Reed's body trembled before the jury's verdict was announced but
he appeared to be calm afterward.
Prosecutor Autrey James told jurors in his closing argument on
Thursday that the motive for the shooting is unclear but he thinks all of the
evidence in the case, including the witnesses' testimony, points to Reed
being the person who killed Johns and Jones.
James said after the verdict that he believes Reed and
co-defendant Jason Watts drove to the scene to track down and kill Johns and
also wound up killing Jones.
Reed's lawyer, Spencer Strellis, said, "I think the jury's verdict
is wrong because I don't think he (Reed) did it (the shootings)."
Strellis said in his closing argument that Reed should be found
not guilty because of the lack of a motive and discrepancies about the
clothing Reed was wearing at the time of the shooting mean "there's too much
reasonable doubt" to convict him.
Strellis also suggested that the shooting might have been carried
out by another man who was associated with the vehicle that was used in the
incident because that man was in the area at the time and was well-known to
Witnesses who saw the shooting said the shooter was wearing all-
black clothes and a black hoodie but Oakland police Officer Michael Osanna
said Reed was wearing a checkered or plaid shirt when he arrested him a short
James said he believes the discrepancy was explained by a witness
who identified Reed as the shooter shortly after the shooting and told police
that Reed had changed shirts.
But Strellis said he doesn't think Reed would have had enough time
to change shirts because he was arrested only moments after the shooting.
In addition, he said the gun that was used in the shooting was
In his closing argument, Strellis said, "We have no gun, we have
no hoodie and frankly we have no case."
Reed initially was declared mentally incompetent to stand trial
but was later deemed mentally fit enough to be prosecuted.
Watts, 28, the other defendant in the case, was convicted in
December 2012 of two counts of first-degree murder and the special
circumstance of committing multiple murders for being the driver in the
Watts was sentenced last year to life in state prison without the
possibility of parole. Reed faces the same term when he's sentenced by
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Gloria Rhynes on July 11.
--By Bay City News