OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A prosecutor told jurors in an Alameda County murder trial Monday that defendant Pierre Rushing fatally shot another man outside an East Oakland burger restaurant five months ago because he thought the man had stolen his iPod.
In his opening statement in Rushing’s trial, prosecutor Greg Dolge told jurors a witness who was in a car with Rushing overheard Rushing telling someone on the phone that his iPod had been taken, and then saying, “There goes dude—let me out.”
Rushing, 22, got out of the car and fired a single shot that killed Dawonye Taylor, 25, in front of the Quarter Pound Giant Burger restaurant at 8026 International Blvd. around 3:45 a.m. on April 15, Dolge said.
However, Rushing’s lawyer, John McDougall, told jurors that there’s no direct evidence that Rushing is the person who killed Taylor and said the prosecution’s case is shaky because it’s based on the testimony of drug users and prostitutes whose credibility is suspect.
Dolge said the sequence of events that led to Taylor’s death began shortly before 3:45 a.m. on April 15 at a building at 1406 77th Ave., where two drug users went to buy some cocaine.
One went into the building while the other waited outside in their car, Dolge said.
Taylor emerged from the building alone a few minutes later and walked east on International Boulevard, according to the prosecutor.
A short time after that, the drug user who had gone inside the building came out with Rushing and a second person, Dolge said.
Rushing and the second man asked the two drug buyers for a ride, and as they were driving east on International Boulevard, Rushing spotted Taylor and told someone over his phone that Taylor appeared to be the man who had taken his iPod, Dolge said.
Rushing ordered the driver to make a U-turn, and the car pulled up next to Taylor in front of the Quarter Pound Giant Burger, according to Dolge.
Dolge said Rushing then got out of the car and shot Taylor in what he described as “a street-style execution.”
Taylor was pinned next to the car when he was shot, and the blast was so loud that one of drug users in the car later told authorities that he initially thought that he himself might have been shot, Dolge said.
The two drug users, Rushing, and the second suspect all drove away after the shooting, Dolge said.
But one of the people in the car approached a police officer two weeks after the shooting and identified Rushing as Taylor’s killer, he said.
Dolge said another key prosecution witness is a prostitute who saw the shooting while she was waiting at a nearby bus stop.
The prostitute knew Taylor and had bought drugs from him earlier that evening, Dolge said. She also recognized Rushing and the car in which he was traveling.
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