OAKLAND (BCN)—A reputed gang member was convicted of first-degree murder today for fatally shooting a 49-year-old man in East Oakland two years ago in what a prosecutor said was an internal gang feud.
Guarded by eight bailiffs, Gerald Gipson, 30, looked straight ahead and showed no emotion when jurors, who deliberated for less than two full days, found him guilty in the shooting of Timothy Wilson of San Leandro in the 5900 block of East 17th Street at 3:08 p.m. on July 23, 2014.
Jurors also convicted Gipson of first-degree robbery for robbing a woman at an East Oakland bank ATM at gunpoint on Sept. 25, 2014, two months after the fatal shooting, and of two counts of being an ex-felon in possession of a gun, since he has six prior felony convictions.
A family member of Wilson quietly sobbed and dabbed her eyes with tissue after the verdict was announced.
Gipson admitted during his four days on the witness stand that he fatally shot Wilson but said he did so in self-defense because he believed Wilson was about to pull out a gun and shoot him after Wilson made what he interpreted as a threatening remark and made a sudden movement.
But prosecutor Ben Beltramo said Gipson’s self-defense claim is “a lie” and he believes Gipson was actually “hunting” for Wilson because of an internal gang feud.
In his testimony, Gipson admitted that he associated with members of the Sin City Gang, but said he wasn’t part of the gang and “was not part
of gang warfare.”
Gipson said he wasn’t hunting for Wilson and just happened to run into him while he “was just walking around the block.”
Gipson’s defense attorney Gregory Ward conceded that Gipson was guilty of robbery and of being an ex-felon in possession of a gun but said the prosecution’s allegation that Gipson planned to kill Wilson is “questionable” and he shouldn’t be convicted of murder.
Gipson said jurors should find Gipson not guilty of murder if they believed he acted in self-defense or at least only convict him of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter if they believed he acted in the honest but unreasonable belief that his life was in danger.
Oakland police suspected that Gipson was responsible for Wilson’s death but didn’t have enough evidence to arrest him until the ATM robbery two months later.
Criminalists determined that the gun used in the robbery was the same one that had been used to kill Wilson so police finally arrested him on suspicion of murder in addition to the robbery.
Gipson’s prior convictions are three counts of possession of drugs for sale and one count each of second-degree burglary, attempted second-degree robbery and carrying a loaded firearm that was unregistered.
He faces a state prison term of at least 50 years to life when he’s sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Vernon Nakahara on Sept. 16.