An Oakland man who briefly acted as his own lawyer and postponed his sentencing four times has been sentenced to 45 years to life in state prison for shooting a man who witnessed shots fired at an Oakland police officer. At a hearing on Wednesday, Marcus Moore, 32, sought to fire his lawyer, Darryl Stallworth, for the second time and tried to postpone his sentencing a fifth time. But after prosecutor Colleen McMahon warned that, “Mr. Moore is essentially trying to delay going to state prison,” Alameda County Superior
Court Judge Allan Hymer decided that he wouldn’t grant any further delays. He denied Moore’s motion to fire Stallworth, a respected Oakland lawyer and former prosecutor who has handled many high-profile trials, and sentenced Moore to state prison.
Moore, who told Hymer, “I object to this whole hearing,” and, “You violated my due process,” is one of four defendants in a series of events that occurred almost exactly a year ago. The case began at about 11 p.m. on Aug. 27, 2009, when Oakland police Officer Marcel Patterson responded to a report that a group of about seven people was gambling in front of a Laundromat in the 2000 block of 23rd Avenue in Oakland, McMahon said several months ago during the trial. As he was responding, Moore’s half-brother, 26-year-old Oakland resident Joseph Harrison, told Patterson, “I’ll kill you,” and fired at him. McMahon said Harrison was a drug dealer who had been arrested before for making similar threats to police officers, and she believes he was upset that police were on that block while he was conducting business. Harrison was arrested the next day based on information from a male witness, McMahon said. She asked that the man’s name not be disclosed because of concerns about his safety. About 26 hours later, in the early morning hours of Aug. 29, 2009, the witness was shot several times in the same location on 23rd Avenue with the same gun that had been used to fire at Patterson, according to McMahon. McMahon said the witness’s femur and tibia were broken, and he still has metal rods in his legs. He survived the shooting, though, and was able to testify against Harrison as well as the two men who he said shot him: Moore and Freeman Griffin, a 42-year-old Oakland man. Harrison was already in jail when the witness was shot, but
McMahon said he directed Moore and Griffin to shoot him. On June 10, Harrison was convicted of assault with a firearm and
personal and intentional discharge of a firearm for shooting at Patterson. He was sentenced on July 7 to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Moore was found guilty of the willful, deliberate and premeditated attempted murder of the witness and of personally and intentionally discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury to him. He too was initially scheduled to be sentenced on July 7, but Judge Carrie Panetta, who was substituting for Hymer, allowed him to fire Stallworth and act as his own attorney. She delayed his sentencing until July 30 so he would have time to file a motion for a new trial. At the July 30 hearing, Hymer granted Moore a three-day delay so that he could file a motion to have a court-appointed investigator to help him file his motion for a new trial. But at the Aug. 2 hearing, Moore decided he didn’t want to act as his own lawyer any more and asked that an attorney be appointed to represent him. Through Alameda County’s court-appointed lawyer program, Stallworth was then appointed to represent him again. Moore said on Wednesday that he didn’t want Stallworth to represent him and he was trying to hire Oakland attorney William DuBois, who represented Oakland computer entrepreneur Hans Reiser when he was convicted of murdering his wife Nina. But McMahon objected to any further delays, saying Moore “had ample time” to try to hire someone other than Stallworth but had failed to do so. Hymer agreed, saying, “The court hasn’t heard from Mr. DuBois, and the district attorney would be unduly prejudiced in their right to have a speedy resolution to this matter.” Moore complained, “I’m not trying to play no delay tactics. I’m
exercising my rights as an American citizen.” But Hymer said, “I decline to argue the matter,” and sentenced Moore. In June, jurors deadlocked 10-2 in favor of convicting Griffin of premeditated attempted murder for shooting the witness, discharging a firearm
causing great bodily injury to the witness and being a felon in possession of a firearm. McMahon said she plans to prosecute Griffin a second time. The fourth defendant in the case was Lonnel Moore, Marcus Moore’s 27-year-old brother. He was found guilty of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and sentenced to time in state prison.
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