Alameda County prosecutor claims accused killer targeted children

OAKLAND (BCN) — A prosecutor alleged Monday that Darnell Williams deliberately targeted children in a shooting in Oakland three years ago in which he’s accused of murdering an 8-year-old girl and attempting to murder three other people, including two other children.

Williams, a 25-year-old Oakland man, is accused of two counts of murder for the shooting death of 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine in Oakland the night of July 17, 2013, as well as the unrelated fatal shooting of a 22-year-old man in Berkeley seven weeks later.

In his closing argument in Williams’ trial, prosecutor John Brouhard said Williams wanted to harm anyone who was close to Antiown York, the man he thought had murdered Williams’ close friend, 26-year-old Jermaine Davis, in the 1800 block of Derby Street in Berkeley about five hours before the shooting at an apartment in the 3400 block of Wilson Ave. in Oakland that claimed Alaysha’s life.

Referring to York’s nickname, Brouhard said Williams “wanted to hit Twanny (York) hard, hit someone close to him, like his children.”

Brouhard said Williams went to the apartment on Wilson Avenue because York’s ex-girlfriend, who was the mother of York’s 7-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy, lived there.

The mother wasn’t home when Williams went there but the two children were there along with their 63-year-old grandmother and Alaysha, who was a close friend of the 7-year-old girl and was spending the night there.

The 7-year-old girl, the 4-year-old boy and their grandmother were also struck by gunfire and Brouhard said the shooting “was close to a quadruple murder” because the shots that hit them narrowly missed vulnerable spots on their bodies.

Brouhard said Williams rang the door bell at the apartment and then fired at least 13 shots after the 7-year-old girl, who had been expecting her mother to come home after her job at a local hospital, opened the door.

Referring to Alaysha and the two other children, Brouhard said, “They’re little kids but he keeps shooting, he doesn’t stop.”

The prosecutor said, “The evidence shows that he (Williams) had an intent to kill children.”

York was charged with murdering Davis but the charge was dismissed in September 2014 because a key prosecution witness wasn’t available.

Brouhard said two women who knew Williams well are “very important witnesses in this case” because he believes they prove that Williams committed first-degree murder with special circumstances.

Brouhard said Williams’ former girlfriend, 26-year-old Britney Rogers, testified that Williams told her several hours after the Oakland shooting incident that he had carried out the shooting and threatened to kill her family if she talked to the police about his admission.

Brouhard also said Laquana Nuno, a 30-year-old prostitute who had been Davis’ girlfriend and was introduced to Williams after Davis was killed, testified that Williams also told her that he had carried out the shooting that claimed Alaysha’s life.

Williams’ lead attorney, Deborah Levy, told jurors in her opening statement that Rogers and Nuno aren’t credible and that there’s not enough evidence to convict Williams.

But Brouhard said Monday that the evidence at the scene of the Oakland shooting corroborates the women’s testimony that Williams told them that he started shooting after he knocked on the apartment’s door and someone turned the doorknob.

Brouhard said there are 13 gunshot holes in the exterior metal door to the apartment and 8 gunshot holes in the interior wooden door.

He said that shows that the wooden door was open for 5 of the shots that were fired during the incident.

Brouhard said, “This also shows that the defendant (Williams) waited to be sure his targets were where he needed them to be.”

Williams faces a second count of murder for allegedly fatally shooting 22-year-old Anthony Medearis in an unrelated incident in the 1400 block of Eighth Street in Berkeley seven weeks later at about 5:45 p.m. on Sept. 8, 2013.

Brouhard alleged that Williams shot Medearis because he thought he was a snitch and also because he wanted to rob him because he had run out of money to buy guns, drugs and jewelry.

Brouhard said Williams killed Medearis after a dispute at a dice game, chasing down Medearis and shooting him in the back as Medearis pleaded for his life.

In addition to the two murder counts, Williams is charged with three counts of premeditated attempted murder and the special circumstance of lying in wait for the shooting on July 17, 2013, the special circumstance of allegedly murdering Medearis during the course of an attempted robbery and the special circumstance of allegedly committing multiple murders.

Levy and co-defense counsel Darryl Billups will present their closing arguments on Tuesday and jurors are expected to begin deliberating on Wednesday.

If Williams is convicted of the most serious charges against him he will face a penalty phase in which the same jury would decide between recommending the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

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