SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A jury in San Francisco Thursday found an Antioch man guilty of first degree murder and other charges in the brutal 2013 attack at the San Francisco Gift Center & JewelryMart which left two women dead and a store owner severely injured.
Barry White, 27, was convicted in the shooting and stabbing of three people in the attack at Victoga, Inc., a store inside the JewelryMart complex on Brannan St.
White attempted to fire his public defender and represent himself Wednesday before the case went to the jury for deliberations. Judge Ethan Schulman denied the request on the grounds that it was untimely, being made in the midst of closing arguments after a seven-week trial.
In the attack, White was seen on surveillance video waiting on other customers to leave before shooting store owner Vic Hung and employee Lina Lim. He was then seen slashing the throat of employee Khin Min and following Hung and Lim into a storeroom to continue the knife attack on both, leaving Lim nearly decapitated.
He then left the store and fired at responding officers before surrendering when he ran out of ammunition.
Hung survived his injuries but was left with some brain damage, post-traumatic stress disorder and a litany of health problems.
White was charged with 16 felony counts including first-degree murder and attempted murder. His defense attorneys did not dispute he committed the crimes, but argued their client suffered a serious brain injury in a 2009 Antioch police shooting, leaving him with cognitive defects and marked personality changes.
Defense attorneys argued White should have been convicted of lesser charges such as manslaughter.
Assistant District Attorney Diane Knoles, however, disputed the relevance of the injury from the 2009 shooting, calling it a “scalp wound.”
She described the JewelryMart crimes as “cold and calculating” and emphasized the degree to which White prepared himself for them, carrying a gun and knife and even exercising with body weights beforehand.
“Barry White premeditated, he deliberated and he had the intent to kill, and because of that two women are dead and seven others nearly died that day,” Knoles said.
White was angry with Hung after learning he had been shortchanged on a $5,573 custom gold chain he had ordered, which weighed 20 grams less than what he had paid for. He demanded a refund, but Hung had refused to pay the full amount he sought.
White filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in 2011 that is still pending in connection with the 2009 shooting.
Antioch police said White was shot after he allegedly brought guns to a party and then rammed a patrol car in Antioch, prompting an officer to open fire.
The lawsuit alleges that Officer Nicholas Cuevas fired at White and two other men while they had their backs turned and their hands up in their vehicle, and that the men did not know he was a police officer.
Police then left White, who was struck with .40-caliber bullets in the shoulder and back of the head, unattended for 90 minutes before providing medical aid, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit also alleges that the family was told by police that no charges would be filed if they did not pursue a complaint. The family filed a complaint in February 2010, and White was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest in connection with the incident in May 2010.
The case was still pending at the time of the JewelryMart murders.
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