Prosecutor Calls Fatal Shooting at San Leandro Tattoo Party A 'Gang-Related Assassination'
The shooting occurred in October of 2011.
In his closing argument in the trial of three men who are accused of three counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder, prosecutor Jimmie Wilson said members of the Oakland-based Mob Squad gang targeted a member of the rival FE gang because they were upset about a confrontation with the other group at a San Francisco nightclub several months earlier.
[Related article: Four Tattoo Party Suspects Face Death Penalty Or Life]
Wilson said the instigator of the shooting in a parking lot outside a warehouse in the 2600 block of Alvarado Street in San Leandro in the early morning hours of Oct. 2, 2011, was 23-year-old Anthony Perry of Oakland, who he said is the leader of the Mob Squad gang and is known as "A-1" and "A-Uno."
[Related article: Man Charged with Murder: Shooting Was Sparked by Bad…]
The prosecutor said Perry and associates Aaron Stewart, 21, of Fairfield, and Paul Arthur Stevenson, 22, of Oakland, saw 23-year-old Joshua Alford of Oakland at the tattoo party and decided to kill him because he belonged to the FE gang and had been present at the earlier confrontation in San Francisco.
Guns were pulled out and displayed in the San Francisco incident but no shots were fired and there weren't any fights, Wilson said. However, Perry decided he wanted to send a message to the rival gang even though the earlier confrontation "wasn't even his beef," the prosecutor said.
Perry, Stewart and Stevenson were all armed with guns and when the party ended they surrounded a green Ford Explorer that had been blocked from leaving the warehouse's parking lot by another car and opened fire, Wilson said.
Alford, who was a passenger in the SUV, was their primary target but "they wanted to kill everyone" who was inside the vehicle, Wilson alleged. The three men started planning the shooting an hour before the party ended and all three wore hoodies in an effort to conceal themselves, he said.
In addition to Alford, the shooting claimed the lives of 16-year-old Leneasha Northington, a student at San Leandro High School, and 19-year-old Shanice Kiel of San Francisco, who had been accepted at San Francisco State University. Three other people who were inside the Ford Explorer were wounded and another person was uninjured.
Wilson described the shooting as "a sneak attack" and said the result was "total destruction." In addition to the murder and attempted murder charges against them, Perry, Stewart and Stevenson face the special circumstance allegation that they committed multiple murders.
If they're convicted of that, they will face life in prison without the possibility of parole. A fourth man, Stanley Turner, 20, of Oakland, faced similar charges for the shooting but in December he entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors that calls for him to be found guilty of a lesser charge and receive a light sentence in return for his testimony against the other three men.
Wilson said Turner wasn't one of the shooters in the incident but he was an accessory because he provided one of the guns that was used in the shooting and drove Stewart from the scene afterward. Defense lawyers for Perry, Stevenson and Stewart, who didn't present any witnesses in the trial, have sought to downplay the roles they played in the shooting.
Stevenson's lawyer, Alex Selvin, argued today that Perry and Stewart were the only shooters in the case and claimed there is no reliable evidence that Stevenson fired any shots. Stewart's lawyer, Thomas Broome, said in his opening statement that Stewart did not fire any shots because his gun jammed.
Perry's lawyer, Darryl Stallworth, said he believes there were only two shooters in the incident and Perry was not one of them. Stallworth said jurors should treat Turner's testimony that Perry said after the shooting that he had "emptied" his gun by firing at the victims should be treated with suspicion because of the plea deal Turner received from prosecutors.
It is expected that the attorneys in the case will complete their closing arguments on Tuesday and jurors will begin deliberating on Wednesday. The Alameda County Sheriff's Department has taken extraordinary security measures during the trial, stationing six bailiffs inside the courtroom of Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kevin Murphy, two additional other bailiffs outside the courtroom and escorting jurors to and from their cars.
—By Bay City News