Man Convicted Of 2007 SF Bernal Heights Murder, Sex Assaults
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A man accused of fatally stabbing the mother of his daughter and raping two of the woman’s other daughters in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood in 2007 was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder and sexual assault charges.
A San Francisco Superior Court jury this afternoon convicted Umar Hudson, 35, of fatally stabbing Jernell Scott, 32, on April 6, 2007, outside her home in the 900 block of Ellsworth Street.
Scott and Hudson, known by friends as “Rasta” because he used to have dreadlocks, had known each other since high school and had a previous relationship, then got back together in 2005 and had a child together who was 16 months old at the time of the killing, prosecutors said.
Hudson was also convicted Wednesday of sexually assaulting Scott’s daughters, who were 9 and 13 years old at the time.
Prosecutor Diana Garcia said at the start of the month-long trial that Hudson’s anxiety over possibly being arrested for the sexual assaults, which the girls reported to police, led him to attack Scott, who was found by neighbors naked and bleeding in the middle of the street.
Neighbors reported seeing a man standing over Scott in the street and repeatedly stabbing her, then going back inside the home and coming back out with another knife, which he used to stab her again, Garcia said.
Hudson then went back inside the home once more, changed clothes and went out to the street where a crowd had gathered and police had arrived, Garcia said.
Although Hudson tried to blend in as a bystander, an alert neighbor told police he was the stabber. Officers arrested him and found a backpack he was carrying was filled with bloody clothes, prosecutors said.
District Attorney George Gascon said at a news conference following the conviction Wednesday that the act of that good Samaritan helped bring justice in the case and is an example of the importance of reporting crimes to authorities.
“But for the fact that we had a neighbor that approached the police and pointed out the suspect, this suspect could still be at large,” Gascon said.
Investigators later confirmed DNA evidence linking Hudson to the sexual assault of the two young girls, which prosecutors said took place over several months.
“For some time, (the victims) felt they were alone and had no place to turn,” Gascon said.
A police inspector testified during the trial that authorities were actively seeking Hudson on the sexual assault charges prior to the murder but could not find him, Garcia said.
Hudson’s defense attorney, Alfredo Vea, said he told the jury that his client had killed Scott, but argued that the crime was done in the heat of passion.
“I’m disappointed, I think there was enough for voluntary manslaughter,” rather than the first-degree murder conviction, Vea said.
Hudson was previously convicted in 2001 for forcible rape in 2001, and
was released from parole some time in 2005, Garcia said.
The prior conviction will lead to a longer prison term for Hudson, who faces a minimum of 80 years to life in prison when he returns to be sentenced on Jan. 3.
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