A reputed gang member was sentenced this week to 110 years to life in state prison for his second-degree murder conviction for fatally shooting Samuel Nava III, a popular 17-year-old Hayward High School student.
Robert Joseph Yim, 23, also was convicted of three counts of attempted murder for shooting at three people who were with Nava, who played on his high school baseball team, in the incident at about 6:45 p.m. on May 3, 2010. He was sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Roy Hashimoto.
According to prosecutor Elgin Lowe, Yim was eating at a table with his girlfriend and her one-year-old daughter at Stonybrook Park in Hayward when he got into a staredown with Nava and three friends, who were sitting in a parked car in a parking lot at the park.
Lowe said Yim was “mean mugging” Nava and his friends so one of Nava’s friends asked Yim if there was a problem.
The prosecutor said Taylor’s question “set Yim off” and Yim said something back to Nava and his friends and retrieved a gun from his girlfriend’s car.
Lowe said Nava and his friends then drove off and probably would have gotten away unharmed if the friends had driven Nava straight home but Nava instructed them to take a roundabout route so that Yim couldn’t follow him to his home.
He said Nava and his friends then encountered Yim and his girlfriend at the corner of Mission Boulevard and Industrial Parkway a short time later by chance.
Yim got out of his car and fired four shots, one of which hit Nava in the head and killed him, according to Lowe.
None of the three people with Nava were injured but one of his friends would have been shot in the head if he hadn’t ducked because a bullet went through the window next to the right front passenger seat where Hallman was seated, Lowe said.
Yim’s girlfriend, 22-year-old Veronica Rodriguez, also was charged with murder and attempted murder but she was allowed to only plead guilty to being an accessory in return for agreeing to testify for the prosecution Yim.
She was sentenced last week to five years’ probation.
In a separate case, Yim is one of six reputed gang members who are charged with murder and acting to benefit a criminal street gang in connection with the shooting death of 14-year-old student Vernon Eddins. Eddings was killed in front of Barnard-White Middle School on Whipple Road in Union City at about 3:20 p.m. on Dec. 21, 2007.