An Oakland man was sentenced to death today for murdering two people at a hair salon nine years ago. In a case that moved at a snail’s pace, jurors convicted Christopher Evans, 36, on July 16, 2009 of one count of first-degree murder for the death of hairdresser Tina Marie Rose, 28, and one count of second-degree murder for the death of Tommy Lee Brown, 41, in a shooting at Rose’s salon near the corner of 85th Avenue and International Boulevard in Oakland on April 27, 2001. Jurors also found Evans guilty of the special circumstance of committing multiple murders.At the conclusion of the penalty phase of Evans’ trial on Nov. 23, after two days of deliberations, the same jurors recommended the death penalty for Evans.Evans’ attorneys, William DuBois and Alex Selvin, told jurors that Evans suffered from “post-concussion syndrome” and didn’t know what was going on when he killed Rose and Brown because Rose’s brother had punched him in the head and knocked him out in a confrontation a short time before he opened fire.But prosecutor Michael Nieto told jurors that although Evans may have been shaken up when he was punched, he knew what he was doing when he shot Rose and Brown.Nieto said Derrick Rose punched Evans a short time after Evans searched Rose’s pockets as he walked down the block.Evans testified that the “pocket check” was a routine prank played all the time on the streets of East Oakland.But Nieto said Evans was a drug-dealer who was protecting his turf by making sure he wasn’t robbed by someone he hadn’t seen before.Derrick Rose didn’t appreciate having a stranger check his pockets and argued with Evans outside his sister’s beauty salon, Nieto said.Tina Marie Rose, who knew Evans, came outside and told Evans that the person he was arguing with was her brother. Evans apologized, but Derrick Rose was still upset and returned about 40 minutes later with friends. He then punched Evans.DuBois told jurors in his closing argument in the guilt phase of the case that Evans was “confused” and a friend of his put a gun in his hand.Nieto said Evans brandished the gun inside the hair salon and shot Brown when he tried to stop Evans from shooting Tina Marie Rose. Evans then shot Rose while she was trying to run away, Nieto said.Evans was on the run for nearly eight months after the shooting but he was arrested in Reno in December 2001, shortly before a segment on him was scheduled to air on the “America’s Most Wanted” television program.Nieto said today that jurors rejected the defense’s claim that Evans suffered from post-concussion syndrome.He said a surveillance video from a market near the shooting scene depicted Evans acting calmly and deliberately before and after the shooting.The prosecutor said Evans has two prior felony convictions for possession of rock cocaine for sale and also has engaged in violent behavior on the street and has been involved in altercations while being held in custody.After Evans was sentenced today, DuBois said he thinks it’s “a gross injustice” that Evans is getting the death penalty.DuBois said he was unable to premeditate and deliberate the shootings because he was dazed from being punched in the head.”At worst, there should have been two second-degree murder verdicts” instead of the special circumstance finding that made Evans eligible for the death penalty, DuBois said.DuBois said Evans’ actions “were bad, tragic and deplorable” but he doesn’t think Evans should get the death penalty.
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