OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Robbery was the movie for fatal shooting of an ice cream vendor in East Oakland two years ago, a prosecutor told jurors Monday.
In his opening statement in the murder trial of 25-year-old Joevan Lopez, Alameda County prosecutor Jimmie Wilson said Lopez and a second man, 42-year-old Marty Lopez, who’s unrelated, both wanted to rob 45-year-old Jasvir Singh, 45, and both shot him in the 9300 block of Peach Street at about 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 3, 2015.
Singh, who was pronounced dead at the scene, had sold ice cream in that area for many years, and his fatal shooting prompted widespread outrage in the community.
Joevan Lopez was arrested and charged in November 2015, about a month after Singh was killed.
As prosecutors prepared Lopez’s case for trial, they developed new information that a second suspect, Marty Lopez, also participated in the fatal shooting of Singh so charges against him were filed on Oct. 23 and he will be prosecuted separately at a later date.
When Joevan Lopez was arrested in November 2015, former Oakland police Chief Sean Whent said at a news conference that was attended by Mayor Libby Schaaf and FBI and U.S. Marshals Service officials that the fatal shooting of Singh was “a senseless murder.”
Capt. Roland Holmgren said Singh “was part of the community and people were heartbroken” when he was fatally shot.
Oakland police Officer Jason Andersen wrote in a probable cause statement that several witnesses told investigators that the person responsible for the shooting was “J-Baby” and officers identified “J-Baby” as Lopez.
Joevan Lopez’s lawyer, Darryl Billups, declined to give an opening statement Monday, deciding to present it later after the prosecution has rested its case.
The prosecution’s first witness was a 49-year-old woman who lives in the 9300 block of Peach Street and testified that she heard the shooting and saw Joevan Lopez shooting toward Singh’s ice cream truck.
The woman said she had seen Lopez in the neighborhood many times before and she became “frightened” when she was him walking near her house after the shooting.
In addition to murder, Joevan Lopez is charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm because prosecutors say he was convicted of a felony charge of being an accessory to a crime after the fact on May 1, 2012, and of being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm on Dec. 3, 2013.
Marty Lopez is also charged with being an ex-felon in possession of a gun because prosecutors say he was convicted of possession for sale of cocaine base in San Francisco County in 1995 and of being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm in Alameda County in 1999.
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