West Oakland gang members get long sentences for 2010 murder

OAKLAND (BCN) — Two reputed gang members received lengthy state prison terms today for the shooting death of a 31-year-old man in West Oakland in 2010 a day after they’d burglarized his home.

Deandre Dixon, 24, who was convicted of first-degree murder for the fatal shooting of Mohamed Diop in the 800 block of 31st Street at about 7:30 p.m. on March 4, 2010, was sentenced to 50 years to life and Omouri Forrest-Edwards, 21, who was convicted of second-degree murder, was sentenced to 25 years to life.

Prosecutor Melissa Dooher said Dixon and Forrest-Edwards fired 20 shots at Diop from two guns, a .45-caliber gun and a .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol.

The fatal shooting occurred in front of Diop’s home at 864 31st St.

Dooher alleged that Dixon and Forrest-Edwards went to Diop’s home on March 3, 2010, the day before the shooting, and stole a safe that contained jewelry and the .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol that was used to shoot him.

The prosecutor said when Diop saw Dixon during the day on March 4, 2010, he accused Dixon of burglarizing his home but Dixon denied it.

After Diop walked away, Dooher said, Dixon told an acquaintance, Gerrell Edwards, who isn’t related to Forrest-Edwards, “I’m calling Beastie,” which she said is the nickname for Forrest-Edwards, who was only 16 at the time of the shooting but was prosecuted as an adult.

Dooher said Edwards told police that Dixon made an implied threat against Diop by saying, “I’ve got a hammer at my house. I’ve got to go take care of it.”

The prosecutor said witnesses saw Dixon walking toward Diop’s home that evening and there’s evidence that both Dixon and Forrest-Edwards shot at him.

Diop was hit by several bullets that were fired from the .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital a short time later.

Police found the pistol several blocks away the day after the shooting, she said.

Defense attorneys for Dixon and Forrest-Edwards asked jurors to find the two men not guilty of the charges against them, alleging that the testimony of Gerrell Edwards and the prosecution’s other witnesses wasn’t credible or accurate.

Dooher said Dixon and Forrest-Edwards are members of a West Oakland gang called the “P-Team” but Arroyo said Forrest-Edwards “shouldn’t be convicted just because he associates with people who may commit crimes.”

Dooher said witness intimidation has been a major issue in the case. The initial charges that were filed against Dixon and Forrest-Edwards in 2010 had to be dismissed at the preliminary hearing in 2011 because Gerrell Edwards at one point retracted his statements to police implicating the two men in Diop’s murder because he’d been threatened by Dixon and
Forrest-Edwards’ mother.

But the charges against Dixon and Forrest-Edwards were re-filed last year.

After Dixon and Forrest-Edwards were sentenced today, Dooher said, “For the sake of the victim’s wife and little daughter, I am thrilled to finally bring in the long-awaited convictions for Mr. Diop’s senseless murder.”

She said, “Hopefully, coming decades bring substantial peace and healing to the victim’s family and significant growth, maturity, and insight to the defendants so they may become productive members of our society if they are ever released on parole.”

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