OAKLAND (CBS SF) — An Oakland man was sentenced Wednesday to 19 years in state prison for fatally shooting a Vallejo man on the Ohlone Greenway in Albany in broad daylight last year.
Thomas Shimamura, 32, was charged with murder for the shooting of 23-year-old Raphael Fuentes-Lee on the Ohlone Greenway between Portland and Garfield avenues at about 11:30 a.m. on April 29, 2018, which was a Sunday and a time when many people use the 4.5-mile pedestrian and bicycle path.
Fuentes-Lee was taken to a hospital after he was shot but died there a short time later, according to police.
Shimamura, who has a bachelor of fine arts in film editing and sound engineering, pleaded no contest to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter at a hearing on April 16 at which he acknowledged that he killed Fuentes-Lee.
Shimamura also pleaded no contest to having an unregistered loaded firearm and admitted that he used a gun.
A motive for the fatal shooting wasn’t disclosed when Shimamura entered his plea.
A community group called Vallejo Together wrote on its Facebook page that, “Raphael was shot in the head while homeless and sleeping in an Albany bus stop.”
The sentence imposed by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson on Wednesday calls for Shimamura to serve six years for voluntary manslaughter, 10 years for using a gun and 3 years for having an unregistered loaded firearm.
Kayla Gibson-Wytch, 22, of Berkeley, was also arrested in connection with the fatal shooting but the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office didn’t file any charges against her.
Albany police Detective Jose Lara wrote in a probable cause statement that a witness saw Shimamura and Gibson-Wytch talking to each other on the Ohlone Greenway before the shooting and then heard a gunshot and looked over and saw them running north on the greenway toward El Cerrito.
A second witness gave police photos of Shimamura and Gibson-Wytch as they walked away from the shooting scene, Lara wrote.
That witness reported hearing a loud noise and saw Gibson-Wytch stepping back and covering her ears, according to Lara.
The photos of Shimamura and Gibson-Wytch were sent to neighboring police agencies in an attempt to identify them and a Berkeley homicide detective was able to identify Gibson-Wytch from previous contacts and arrests, Lara wrote.
When Gibson-Wytch was arrested the morning of April 30, 2018, the day after the shooting, she told police that Shimamura was the person who fatally shot Fuentes-Lee, according to Lara.
Police then “established that Shimamura was the person who fired the fatal shot that killed the victim,” Lara wrote.
Shimamura was arrested at the corner of San Pablo Avenue and Jones Street in North Berkeley at about 6:15 p.m. on April 30, 2018.
Shimamura admitted to police that he was in Albany on the day of the shooting but declined to talk about the shooting and said he wanted to be represented by a lawyer before he provided a statement, according to Lara.
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