Witness says teen started shooting after he quarreled with teen girls in Oakland

OAKLAND (BCN) — A teenager who was with Diantay Powell when he allegedly gunned down two teenage girls near Brookdale Park in East Oakland in 2012 testified today that the shooting occurred after Powell quarreled with both girls.

Quincy Carter, who’s now 19 but was 16 at the time, said he was hanging out in a car with Powell, Anthony Edwards, 16-year-old Bobbie Sartain and 15-year-old Raquel Gerstel in the 2600 block of Minna Avenue near Brookdale Avenue around 5 a.m. on Nov. 25, 2012, but the atmosphere grew tense when Powell got a call from one of his girlfriends and asked the girls to leave.

he girls were involved in sexual relationships with Powell and Edwards, according to testimony and attorney statements in the case.

Carter, a reluctant witness who had to be arrested to make sure that he would appear in court, said Sartain didn’t want to leave the car and got into “a heated argument” with Powell, who was 18 at the time and is now 21.

Carter, who was dressed in a red jail uniform and accompanied by his lawyer on the witness stand, said the argument continued after Powell pulled Sartain out of the car and Sartain punched Powell in the face and he hit her back.

Carter said Gerstel told Powell, “You just knocked my cousin down” and Powell responded by telling her, “I will knock you down, too” and used an expletive.

Powell first shot Gerstel and then shot Sartain as she tried to run away even though she told him, “I’m not going to tell on you,” Carter testified.

Oakland police said at least two dozen bullet casings were found at the scene.

Gerstel and Sartain were friends who grew up together in Alameda. Gerstel lived in San Leandro and was a freshman at Arroyo High School in San Lorenzo. Sartain lived on High Street in Oakland, a few blocks from where the shooting happened.

Powell’s lawyer, Darryl Stallworth, admitted in his opening statement on Tuesday that Powell fatally shot Gerstel and Sartain but told jurors that he should only be convicted of voluntary manslaughter because he couldn’t make intelligent decisions since he had a troubled childhood and was under the influence of drugs.

Stallworth said Powell acted rashly because he was provoked and was in a sudden quarrel but Carter appeared to undercut that argument today by testifying that after Sartain punched Powell he went back to the car to retrieve his gun, which would indicate that he had time to reflect on what he was doing.

Stallworth pointed out to Carter that at Powell’s preliminary hearing three years ago he testified that Powell had his gun with him and opened fire shortly after he was punched, but Carter insisted that his memory is that Powell didn’t initially have his gun on him and had to go back to the car to get it before he started shooting.

Prosecutor Melissa Dooher said in her opening statement that she will ask jurors to find Powell guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, saying that the evidence in the case proves that he was the shooter.

Edwards, who’s now 23, is standing trial with Powell on a charge of being an accessory after the fact for allegedly driving Powell away from the shooting scene.

Carter completed his testimony today and is expected to be released from the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin tonight.

Testimony in the case, which Alameda County Superior Court Judge C. Don Clay said is moving along “at warp speed,” will resume on Thursday morning.

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