OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A 22-year-old man was sentenced on Friday to eight years and eight months in state prison for fatally shooting another man outside an illegal gambling club in Oakland in 2018 in what his attorney believes was an act of self-defense.
Prosecutors sought a first-degree murder verdict for Marshawn Chambers for the shooting of Xin Hoang, 32, outside the club in the 1100 block of International Boulevard at about 2:20 a.m. on Aug. 26, 2018.
But at the end of Chambers’ trial last October jurors convicted him of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, as well as attempted manslaughter and assault with a semi-automatic firearm.
Defense attorney Chris Lamiero told jurors that Chambers opened fire because Hoang was armed with a metal pipe and Hoang’s friend and associate Anthony Le, 27, of Alameda was armed with a gun and he thought they were about to assault him.
Lamiero said the people who ran the club asked Chambers and a friend to leave because they thought they were going to rob the club, although he said there’s no evidence that’s true.
But Alameda County prosecutor John Ullom said Chambers should be found guilty of murder because Hoang and Le weren’t threatening him even though they may have been armed.
Ullom said Chambers could have joined his friend in walking away from the club after they were asked to leave but decided to stay near the club and open fire because his ego was hurt when they were kicked out.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Trina Thompson could have sentenced Chambers to up to 31 years in state prison based on the charges he was convicted of but chose to impose the minimum term for manslaughter and the other counts.
About 10 of Chambers’ family members attended his hearing and they cried when Thompson ordered that he be sent to prison.
After the hearing Lamiero alleged that the club was “an illegal gambling operation run by gangsters.”
Lamiero, a former Alameda County prosecutor, said, “In my 26 years of experience in the criminal justice system I’ve never known it to be a priority to crack down on illegal gambling clubs in Oakland.”
A 52-year-old man was shot and another man was pistol-whipped during a robbery at the same illegal gambling parlor in the 1100 block of International Boulevard at 11:24 p.m. last April 23.
In an unusual twist in the 2018 shooting case, prosecutors also listed Chambers as being a victim, as they charged Le with assault with a semi-automatic firearm for allegedly shooting Chambers in the incident.
Le also was charged with three additional counts of assault for allegedly shooting at three unidentified victims who weren’t injured.
Le was a co-defendant in the case and sat near Chambers at the defense table at their preliminary hearing last year.
But last October Le pleaded no contest to a charge of carrying a concealed firearm and the rest of the charges against him were dismissed. He was sentenced to 16 months in state prison.