Man pleads not guilty to murdering ice cream vendor in Oakland

OAKLAND (KRON/BCN) — A 23-year-old man pleaded not guilty Monday to a murder charge for what Police Chief Sean Whent has called the “senseless murder” of an ice cream vendor in East Oakland in October.

Joevan Lopez, 23, is accused of shooting 45-year-old Jasvir Singh at about 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 3 in the 9300 block of Peach Street. Singh, who had sold ice cream in that area for many years, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Oakland police Officer Jason Andersen wrote in a probable cause statement that several witnesses told investigators that the person responsible for the shooting was “J-Baby” and officers identified Lopez as “J-Baby.”

Andersen said witnesses who were shown double-blind sequential photo lineups subsequently identified Lopez as the shooter.

A warrant for Lopez’s arrested was issued on Oct. 4 and he was arrested by a U.S. Marshals task forced inside his sister’s Stockton home on Nov. 10.

After Lopez was arrested, Whent said the motive for the fatal shooting of Singh was unknown and there wasn’t any evidence that he was caught in crossfire or had been robbed.

Lopez, who looked at the audience and appeared bored at his brief hearing Monday, is scheduled to return to court March 28 for a pretrial hearing.

In addition to murder, Lopez is charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Prosecutors allege that he was convicted of a felony charge of being an accessory to a crime after the fact on May 1, 2012, and of being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm on Dec. 3, 2013.

According to Alameda County jail records, Lopez works as a custodian.

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