A 20-year-old Richmond man is facing life in state prison after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder with special circumstances for fatally shooting an Oakland woman last year in what prosecutors say was a mistaken act of revenge. The jury deliberated for only four hours before announcing its verdict against Dajuan Flemming late Thursday in the crowded courtroom of
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Vernon Nakahara, which was guarded by six bailiffs. Flemming looked straight ahead and showed no emotion when the verdict was read, and he smiled at family members when bailiffs escorted him from court afterward. Giovanna Warren, 24, was killed in the shooting in the 3200 block of San Pablo Avenue in Oakland at about 4:30 p.m. on March 27, 2009. Her family members, who sat on the opposite side of the courtroom from Flemming’s supporters, sobbed when the verdict was announced. The special circumstance against Flemming was committing a murder during a drive-by shooting. He was also convicted of premeditated and deliberate attempted murder for shooting and seriously injuring Warren’s 22-year-old friend. Flemming faces a term of life in prison without the possibility of parole when Nakahara sentences him on Nov. 30. Prosecutor Tim Wellman said Flemming fired seven shots at Warren’s car in “a mission of revenge to try to kill everyone in her car,” including
her 7-year-old son. He said that two days earlier, at about 11:50 p.m. on March 25, 2009, Flemming had been hanging out with friends and relatives in the 700 block of Sycamore Street in Oakland when a passenger in a red Ford Mustang opened fire. Three of Flemming’s friends were injured, but Flemming was unharmed. Wellman said Flemming was again on Sycamore Street with two
friends on March 27, 2009, when a red Ford Mustang drove by. The prosecutor said Flemming thought it was the same car, so he
and his friends got in a Dodge Truck and drove around West Oakland to try to find the Mustang. Warren and her friend “were enjoying their Friday afternoon and had no idea what was about to befall them,” Wellman said. Along the way, they picked up Warren’s son at his school, he said. The truck caught up with the Mustang near the intersection of Brockhurst Street and San Pablo Avenue, and Flemming opened fire from a backseat window without even seeing who was inside or determining if they posed a threat to his life, according to Wellman. He said Warren was “a completely innocent victim.” Wellman said it’s unclear if the Mustang that Flemming shot at on March 27, 2009, was the same car that had been involved in the shooting two days earlier. Wellman said Warren definitely wasn’t involved in the initial incident because she was at a friend’s house at the time. But he said Warren’s boyfriend might have been in the car that was involved in the first shooting. Flemming told police that he shot at Warren’s car in self-defense because he was afraid he would get shot first. But Wellman said the jurors rejected self-defense as evidenced by
their quick verdict against Flemming. Flemming’s lawyer, George Arroyo, declined to comment on the verdict today.
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