Two men were ordered to stand trial today on one count of murder and other charges for a shooting in West Oakland last August in which a 46-year-old man was killed and a 7-year-old boy was grazed by a bullet. At the end of a preliminary hearing, Alameda Count Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon ruled that prosecutors produced sufficient evidence to have 27-year-old Maurice Barrow and 22-year-old Danny Thong face a jury for an Aug. 24 incident in the 700 block of Sycamore Street at about 8 p.m. that killed Otis Lee Key. In addition to the murder charge, Reardon ordered Barrow and Thong to face one count of attempted murder for a shot that was fired toward another alleged victim and one count of assault with a deadly weapon for a shot that grazed the boy. Oakland police Officer Robert Rosin said in a probable cause statement filed in court that a victim and a witness identified Barrow as being one of at least two shooters who came to the area armed with firearms and opened fire on a group of people who were standing there.
Rosin said Key suffered a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene and the boy also suffered a gunshot wound but survived the assault. Thong’s attorney, James Giller, argued at the end of the preliminary hearing today that the credibility of a key prosecution witness is “questionable” and witnesses’ identifications of Thong and Barrow as the suspects “are iffy.” Reardon agreed that the identifications of Thong and Barrow are “somewhat equivocal” and “not strong” but ruled that the prosecution still produced enough evidence to justify having the case proceed to a trial. In addition to the murder, attempted murder and assault charges, Barrow is charged with being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm and of having three prior felony convictions, which could add to his prison term if he’s convicted. Prosecutors said his prior convictions are for second-degree robbery, grand theft and possession for sale of cocaine base.
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