OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A 49-year-old Oakland man was found guilty of first-degree murder for the second time Wednesday for shooting a neighbor in the neck to steal a quarter-pound of marijuana, prosecutors said.
An Alameda County Superior Court jury found Gregory Gadlin guilty of shooting his next-door neighbor, 22-year-old Evan Meisner, on March 31, 2011, in the 4000 block of Lyon Avenue. Meisner was shot inside his home shortly after midnight but wasn’t found dead until about 8:30 a.m.
Gadlin was previously convicted of Meisner’s murder in 2013 after jurors deliberated for only two hours. He was sentenced to 116 years to life in prison but was granted a new trial on appeal because he wasn’t permitted to fire his trial lawyer and represent himself.
His attorney in the new trial, George Arroyo, argued that Gadlin was at home at the time of the murder, saying that there was no evidence that the two men knew each other and no DNA or fingerprint evidence tying Gadlin to the crime.
But prosecutor Warren Ko said ballistic evidence tied Gadlin to the murder and his cousin testified that Gadlin sold her a quarter-pound of pot the day after the murder.
Meisner was a construction worker, not a drug dealer, but had been given the marijuana as payment and told friends he planned to sell it to a neighbor because he needed money for rent.
Gadlin had recently been paroled after serving time in prison for a robbery conviction. His murder conviction is his third strike under the state’s three strikes law.
He is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 13 for sentencing.
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