An East Oakland convenience store clerk has been convicted of second-degree murder for fatally shooting a man after an argument outside the store three years ago. In delivering their verdict on Thursday, jurors reached a middle ground between prosecutor Carrie Skolnick, who said 23-year-old Adhem Abdulla, should be convicted of first-degree murder for the death of 46-year-old Willie Turner at about 7 p.m. on Feb. 19, 2010, and defense attorney William DuBois, who said Abdulla should only be convicted of voluntary manslaughter.
The shooting occurred outside the store located at 7645 MacArthur Blvd. after Turner punched Abdulla in the mouth because Abdulla had accused Turner’s girlfriend of shoplifting and pushed her out of the store. Skolnick said in her closing argument on Tuesday that she believed first-degree murder would be an appropriate verdict because she thinks Abdulla premeditated the shooting, alleging that “he thought about it before he did it,” as he didn’t have a gun at the time that Turner hit him and had to go back inside the store to get one.
” But DuBois argued that voluntary manslaughter would be the right verdict because he believes Abdulla shot Turner in the heat of passion. DuBois said Abdulla was in a rage because he worked in a dangerous neighborhood and had to deal with gun violence and drug dealing on a regular basis. However, Skolnick argued that Abdulla didn’t act in self-defense because Turner was not a threat to him, as Turner was walking away from the store and was 85 feet from the store’s entrance when Abdulla shot him.
Abdulla admitted in his testimony during his trial that he killed Turner but said he was upset at Turner’s girlfriend because he had caught her shoplifting three times the day of the shooting. But Skolnick said the defense didn’t present any evidence to support Abdulla’s allegation. The prosecutor said another employee caught Turner’s girlfriend leaving the store with a package of hot dogs under her arm but she agreed to put it back.
Skolnick said the girlfriend was already outside the store when Abdulla confronted her and she told him she was leaving and didn’t want any problems. Abdulla faces a state prison term of 40 years to life when he’s sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson on July 26.
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