OAKLAND (BCN) — A prosecutor told jurors today that a multitude of evidence in the trial of Darnell Williams corroborates testimony by two women who said he admitted to them that he killed an 8-year-old girl in Oakland three years ago
in an alleged retaliation shooting.
Williams, 25, is accused of two counts of murder for the shooting death of 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine in Oakland on July 17, 2013 and 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 the two women who testified against Williams are “very important witnesses in this case” because he believes they prove that
Williams committed first-degree murder with special circumstances.
The shooting, which left Alaysha dead and two other young children and a 63-year-old woman seriously injured, occurred at about 11:15 p.m. in the 3400 block of Wilson Avenue.
Brouhard said Williams’ former girlfriend, 26-year-old Britney Rogers, testified that Williams told her several hours after the shooting that he carried it out and threatened to kill her family if she talked to the police.
Brouhard alleged that Williams carried out the shooting in retaliation for the shooting death of reputed gang member Jermaine Davis, 26, in the 1800 block of Derby Street in Berkeley about four hours earlier.
Brouhard said Williams and Davis were close friends and Williams wanted to kill Antiown York, the man he thought had killed Davis, and anyone close to York.
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.
Brouhard 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’ 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 today 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 were 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.
“This also shows that the defendant (Williams) waited to be sure his targets were where he needed them to be,” Brouhard said.
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 alleges that Williams shot Medearis because he thought he was a snitch and also because he wanted to rob him.
In addition to the two murder counts, Williams is charged with three counts of 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.
If Williams is convicted of the 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.
The closing arguments in Williams’ trial are expected to last at least two full days and his lawyers might not present their arguments until Tuesday.