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The jury is now deliberating in the trial of a Richmond man accused in a 2010 fatal shooting outside a nightclub near San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. Keandre Davis, 22, is charged with murder with a firearm enhancement for the death of 19-year-old Lawon Hall outside Club Suede at 383 Bay St. on Feb. 7, 2010. Three other people were also injured in the shooting.
Assistant District Attorney Diana Garcia said in her closing argument this morning that Davis and another suspect cornered Hall as he was leaving the club and shot at him more than two dozen times. Davis was arrested at the scene after a patrol special officer, Robert Burns, witnessed the shooting and shot him. Patrol special officers are authorized under the city charter to provide supplemental police patrols and contract to perform private security for local businesses.
Davis’ attorney, Deputy Public Defender Steve Olmo, in his closing argument questioned the motive of Burns, who was the first witness to testify in the trial and who Garcia said today was “the most important witness in this case.” Olmo said, “The case is not as clean as Mr. Burns wants you to believe,” adding that Burns might have fingered Davis as the shooter because “if he shot an innocent person, he has big problems.”
Garcia said in her rebuttal that “Robert Burns is not on trial here” and pointed out all of the other evidence she said implicates Davis as the shooter. She said Davis’ DNA was found on the grip of a Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol that was found near where he was detained. Bullet fragments found in Hall’s body also matched ones shot from the gun. “This case is not as complicated as it seems,” she said, calling the shooting “a targeted assassination.”
However, Olmo said that Davis had no issue with Hall. “They were longtime family friends,” he said. “Here’s a man who the prosecution says executed someone they had no issues with.” He said, “I can’t tell you exactly how it went down” but insisted that his client was innocent. A man suspected of being the second shooter in the case was arrested in the days after Hall’s death but prosecutors declined to file charges against him.
The jury began deliberating the case late this afternoon and will be off on Friday. Davis faces 50 years to life in prison if convicted of the charges. Since the shooting, Club Suede has been ordered permanently closed by a judge. Last year, Burns had his appointment as a patrol special officer revoked because of disciplinary charges related to requirements of the officers’ uniforms, insurance and training.
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