OAKLAND (CBS SF) – A defense attorney on Monday asked jurors to find a man not guilty of murder for the shooting death of another man in a marijuana deal gone wrong in Emeryville in 2017, arguing that he acted in self-defense.
Attorney Christina Moore admitted that Cameron Smith, 23, of Oakland, fatally shot 19-year-old Eondre Bolton of Richmond in the parking lot of the Target store at 1555 40th St. in Emeryville shortly after 6 p.m. on Dec. 4, 2017.
However, Moore said he did so only after Bolton shot at him and robbed him of a garbage bag full of marijuana.
Moore said Smith arranged to meet Bolton at the parking lot because he thought it would be a safe place, but Smith “didn’t know that he (Bolton) planned to rob him and take his life if necessary.”
Alameda County prosecutor Butch Ford admitted that Bolton and his companion Maurice Hanks acted with provocation by trying to steal marijuana from Smith, but said Smith wasn’t in any danger when he fatally shot Bolton.
Ford said he thinks the shooting was “an execution” because Bolton already had been shot multiple times and was fleeing for his life when Smith shot him in the back of his head and killed him.
Smith had a chance to leave the scene after Bolton and Hanks tried to rob him but chose to stay and kill Bolton because he was “on a mission” and “didn’t want to be a mark,” Ford said.
Ford said he believes the fatal shooting “was about his (Smith’s) pride, his lifestyle.”
But Moore said Smith was justified in firing the shots that killed Bolton because “the robbery was not over then” and Smith thought that Bolton was running to gain “a tactical advantage” instead of fleeing.
“One person’s fleeing is another person’s maneuver,” Moore said.
Moore accused Ford of engaging in “improper” argument in the first part of his closing argument last Thursday, but Ford responded in his rebuttal on Monday that he believes his comments have been ethical and in accordance with legal rules.
“About one-third of Ms. Moore’s argument was devoted to an attack on me,” Ford said, alleging that she did so to distract jurors from his case against Smith.
“If the facts and the law are against you, you attack, attack, attack,” Ford said.
In addition to murder, Smith is charged with attempted murder for shooting Hanks, who survived his injuries, two counts of assault with a semiautomatic gun and shooting at an occupied vehicle.
Jurors began deliberating Monday afternoon and will resume their deliberations on Tuesday morning.
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