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A 22-year-old Oakland man received a virtual life term in state prison today for fatally shooting a member of a family that runs a convenience store in East Oakland in a confrontation in 2010. Evaristo Toscano was convicted in November of second-degree murder for the death of 22-year-old Samier Ayesh, of Hayward, outside the East Oakland Dollar & More store at 8601 International Blvd. shortly before 11 p.m. on June 11, 2010. Toscano was also convicted of three counts of attempted murder for shooting at Ayesh’s brothers, Adham, Awad and Samey, who weren’t injured.
Prosecutor Autrey James said the incident began when two boys tagged the Ayeshs’ truck in a parking lot near the store and one of the brothers roughed up the boys. He said the boys reported the incident to a group of adults they knew who were at a party nearby, and Toscano and at least three other men went to the area of the store to confront the Ayesh brothers. James said Toscano didn’t ask any questions when he arrived at the scene, and instead immediately fired nine rounds, killing Samier Ayesh with one bullet but missing the other brothers. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Vernon Nakahara sentenced Toscano to 47 years for the three counts of attempted murder, plus another 40 years to life for his second-degree murder conviction for killing Samier Ayesh.
Another man, Hector Vilchis, was also charged with murder and attempted murder for allegedly being an accomplice in the case, but prosecutors dismissed all charges against him in November after jurors deadlocked 10-2 in favor of acquitting him. Toscano’s lawyer, Thomas Broome, attempted to downplay the fatal shooting at today’s hearing, saying, “This thing occurred without premeditation” and “by happenstance.” Broome told Nakahara that Toscano should receive a shorter sentence instead of being sentenced to consecutive terms for his second-degree murder conviction and his three attempted murder convictions.
But James said the consecutive sentences that result in the virtual life term for Toscano “are appropriate” and said Nakahara “is well within his discretion” to impose the lengthy sentence. Samey Ayesh, one of the surviving victims in the case, said, “The defendant turned our lives upside down and we will never replace our brother.” Ayesh said, “I hope the defendant rots in a prison cell for what he put our family through and his own family through.” The Ayesh family also was a victim of an attempted robbery at its store last April in an incident in which the mother of the Ayesh brothers was shot at and a bullet grazed her cheek. She was not seriously hurt and attended the Toscano’s sentencing today.
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