Oakland Man Convicted of Second Degree Murder for Killing Neighbor
An Oakland man was convicted of second-degree murder today for fatally shooting his next-door neighbor in East Oakland three years ago.
Jurors deliberated for four days before announcing their verdict this morning against Shawn Martin, 41, for shooting 21-year-old Melissa Martinez twice in her head as she sat in her car near 105th Avenue and Acalanes Drive in the Sobrante Park neighborhood at about 9:30 p.m. on April 23, 2014.
Martin admitted during his trial that he killed Martinez but claimed he shot her in self-defense because she was pointing a gun at him while they argued.
Martin also said he was afraid of Martinez because she had spoken to him in a “threatening” manner.
Prosecutor Butch Ford said he believes Martinez probably had a gun at some point that night but wasn’t armed at the time she was shot.
Martin admitted that immediately after the shooting he called 911 to report that had heard a shooting in front of his residence, but told the dispatcher he didn’t see the shooter and didn’t know who the shooter was.
Martin said he tried to distance himself from the shooting when police officers interviewed him, but after they told him they had recovered his gun from his home and had evidence he had gun residue on his hand, he admitted he had shot Martinez but said he’d done so in self-defense.
Martin also admitted that he had pulled his gun on Martinez in a previous confrontation three weeks before the shooting.
Ford said Martin put a gun in Martinez’s face because she had confronted him about calling her mother a derogatory name.
Martin said he always carried a gun with him when he left his home at night because he lives in a bad neighborhood and he’d been shot twice in the past.
In addition to second-degree murder, Martin was convicted of using a gun to cause Martinez’s death and of being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm, since he has prior convictions for possession of marijuana for sale and being an ex-felon in possession of a gun.
Martin faces a state prison term of at least 40 years to life when he’s sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Horner on June 9.
Ford and defense attorney Richard Foxall couldn’t immediately be reached for comment after the verdict was announced.