OAKLAND (CBS SF) — An Oakland man appeared in court on Tuesday on a murder charge for the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old man in East Oakland earlier this month.
Maurice Rice, who’s also 29, is charged in connection with the shooting of Melvin Joel Orellana-Monge of Oakland in the area of 54th Avenue and Holland Street at about 10 p.m. on Feb. 5.
Oakland police Sgt. Bradley Baker wrote in a probable cause statement that Orellana-Monge was transported to Highland Hospital in Oakland in grave condition after he was shot. He died of his injuries there at 4:17 p.m. on Feb. 12.
Rice, who was charged with murder last Wednesday, the day after Orellana-Monge died, was scheduled to enter a plea on Tuesday but postponed doing so until he returns to court on March 5.
Baker wrote that a few minutes before the shooting, Rice was dropped off next to his car, a 2006 Pontiac parked on 54th Avenue.
Rice entered the Pontiac and locked his keys inside and within a few minutes, two other suspects returned to the scene and double-parked in the road, Baker wrote.
According to Baker, Orellana-Monge then arrived at the scene, traveling south on 54th Avenue but his path was blocked by the suspects’ double-parked car.
Baker wrote that Orellana-Monge drove around the suspects’ vehicle and continued south on 54th Avenue, but the three suspects shot at his car and he was struck by one bullet.
According to Baker, video surveillance footage and witness statements connect Rice to the shooting but police didn’t solve the case until Rice, who is the registered owner of the Pontiac, called police on Feb. 7, two days after the shooting.
He said he had locked his keys in the car when it was parked on 54th Avenue but when he returned to the area it was gone. Rice came to Oakland police headquarters on Feb. 9 to discuss the missing Pontiac and said he only had one set of keys to it, Baker wrote.
When the sergeant showed Rice the surveillance footage of the person who had locked his keys in the Pontiac, Rice denied being the person in the video, Baker wrote.
Rice then “changed his story and said he had made a second key to the Pontiac,” the sergeant wrote.
Baker wrote, “Based on the video surveillance footage, witness statements and Maurice Rice’s statements it is apparent Rice is one of the three suspects who shot at (Orellana-Monge’s) vehicle.”
The other two suspects remain at large.
Orellana-Monge’s Facebook page indicates that he was from El Salvador.
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