OAKLAND (CBS SF) — An ex-convict was sentenced Friday to 45-years-to-life in state prison for what a prosecutor said was the cold-blooded and heinous fatal shooting of a popular ice cream vendor in East Oakland in 2015.
Joevan Lopez, 25, was convicted of first-degree murder in November for the shooting death of Jasvir Singh, 45, in the 9300 block of Peach Street at about 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 3, 2015.
Lopez also was convicted of discharging a firearm and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, as he was previously 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.
Prosecutor Jimmie Wilson said in his closing argument in the case that Lopez and a second suspect, 43-year-old Marty Lopez, who’s not related, didn’t hide their faces when they both shot Singh because they didn’t think anyone in the neighborhood would come forward to identify them as the perpetrators.
Wilson alleged that Joevan Lopez and Marty Lopez planned to rob Singh and that they shot him because they didn’t want to leave any witnesses.
The prosecutor said Singh, who was pronounced dead at the scene, had never done anything to harm the two men.
“By all accounts he was loved in that neighborhood and people there cared about him,” the prosecutor said.
Six witnesses who had prior contact with Joevan Lopez identified him as one of the shooters in the case, according to Wilson.
Joevan Lopez was arrested and charged in November 2015, about a month after Singh was killed.
As prosecutors prepared Lopez’s case for trial last fall, they developed new information that connected Marty Lopez to the fatal shooting. Charges were filed against Marty Lopez on Oct. 23 and he will be prosecuted separately at a later date.
Wilson said six witnesses testified that Joevan Lopez, who wears glasses and has long dreadlocks, was one of the shooters who killed Singh.
But Lopez’s defense attorney Darryl Billups told jurors that there was reasonable doubt in the case because when police showed Lopez’s photograph to the witnesses, they initially said they didn’t recognize him.
Billups said, “This is a whodunit” and “The real question is who is the shooter.”
Many family members of Singh, who was born in India, attended Lopez’s sentencing Friday but they didn’t speak at the hearing and declined to talk to reporters afterward.