OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A veteran prostitute testified Tuesday that a man charged with two counts of murder for the fatal shootings of an 8-year-old girl in Oakland and a 22-year-old man in Berkeley in separate shootings in 2013 told her that he had killed the girl and wanted to kill the man.
Laquana Nuno, 30, said she met 25-year-old Darnell Williams of Oakland after reputed gang member Jermaine Davis, 26, who was her boyfriend, was fatally shot in the 1800 block of Derby Street in Berkeley at about 6:52 p.m. on July 17, 2013.
Prosecutor John Brouhard told jurors in his opening statement two weeks ago that Williams had been a close friend of Davis and carried out a shooting at an apartment in the 3400 block of Wilson Street at about 11:15 p.m. that night that claimed the life of 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine in retaliation for Davis’ death.
Brouhard said Williams believed Davis had been killed by Antiown York and he fired shots into the apartment on Wilson Street because York’s ex-girlfriend, the mother of York’s children, lived there.
The mother wasn’t home when Williams opened fire but Williams fired 13 shots that struck Alaysha, York’s two young children and their grandmother, according to Brouhard.
Brouhard also alleged that Williams fatally shot Anthony Medearis in the 1400 block of Eighth Street in Berkeley in an unrelated incident at about 5:45 p.m. on Sept. 8, 2013, because he thought that Medearis had “snitched” about Williams’ involvement in a previous robbery.
Brouhard said Williams also wanted to rob Medearis, who he confronted at a dice game, because he was out of money.
Nuno, who has dyed blonde hair and was wearing a gray sweatshirt, said Williams told her that he wanted “revenge” for Davis’ death and admitted that he carried out the shooting that claimed Alaysha’s life.
Nuno said that she began working as a prostitute at the age of 13 because she didn’t have any other way of earning money after she left home and said that after Davis was killed, a mutual friend, Joe Carroll, introduced her to Williams so he could be her “protector.”
Carroll, who was Davis’ cousin, also was charged with murder for Alaysha’s death but the charges against him were later dismissed because of a lack of evidence.
Nuno said Williams told her he wanted to kill Medearis “because he was a snitch and didn’t like him.”
Nuno said she told Williams that it was “stupid” to try to kill Medearis. She said that the day before Medearis was fatally shot she rescued him from a potentially fatal encounter with Williams by giving Medearis a ride home.
But Nuno said Williams persisted with his plan to kill Medearis and called her to ask for a ride after he carried out the crime because he didn’t have a car and wanted to flee the area.
Nuno said she picked up Williams near the shooting scene but after a short period he jumped out of her car in an attempt to flee from police, although officers arrested him nearby a short time later.
She said she drove for another block and a half but then got out of her car and ran away. Nuno was arrested several weeks later and was also charged with murder for helping Williams try to flee after Medearis was killed.
But on Dec. 12, 2013, prosecutors agreed to allow Nuno to plead guilty to the lesser charge of being an accessory after the fact and promised her a light sentence if she testifies truthfully against Williams.
Williams’ lead attorney, Deborah Levy, told jurors in her opening statement that Nuno and Williams’ former girlfriend, Britney Rogers, who testified two weeks ago, aren’t credible because they are prostitutes.
“These women are not believable,” she said.
But Nuno said she told authorities about Williams statements to her about his plan to kill Medearis because, “I just want to get this over and be truthful about the whole situation.”
She said, “I didn’t want him (Williams) to do it (kill Medearis).” Nuno said she’s “haunted” by Medearis’ death and has received threats for testifying against Williams, who has a prior conviction for assault with a semiautomatic firearm.
The prosecution is seeking the death penalty for Williams, who faces two counts of murder for the deaths of Alaysha and Medearis, three counts of attempted murder for the shooting on July 17, 2013, assault with a semi-automatic firearm for accidentally shooting his nephew in the face in the Berkeley incident and two counts of being an ex-felon in possession of a gun.
Williams also faces three special circumstance allegations: committing multiple murders, lying in wait in the shooting that claimed Alaysha’s life and killing Medearis during the course of an attempted robbery.