In an unusual move, an Oakland man pleaded no contest at the end of his first day of trial to a charge that he murdered his teenage ex-girlfriend three years ago. Adrian Blocker’s plea came shortly after prosecutor Tim Wagstaffe told jurors on Thursday that Blocker, now 23, shot 17-year-old Onika Jones twice in the back of her head execution-style on June 18, 2011, and then hid her body in an abandoned house for eight months until a neighbor smelled the odor and called police, who then found her body.
Wagstaffe said Blocker had a history of attacking Jones, as he was convicted of a misdemeanor count of domestic violence for hitting her in October 2010 and he admitted in his plea that he committed assault with a deadly weapon for shooting Jones in the foot during an argument in May 2011, a month before she was killed.
Wagstaffe said Jones, who was killed two days before her 18th birthday, had been uncooperative with police when they investigated that incident, refusing to tell them who had shot her. The prosecutor said Blocker killed Jones at an abandoned house at 98th Avenue and C Street in East Oakland that’s next door to his family’s home and he hid her body there.
Jones had been kicked out of her grandmother’s house and it appeared that she lived with Blocker in the abandoned house, Wagstaffe said. In addition to pleading no contest to murder and assault with a deadly weapon, Blocker also pleaded to a burglary charge for stealing the gun that he used to kill Jones. Jones’ body wasn’t found until February 2012 and prosecutors didn’t develop enough evidence to file charges against Blocker until June 2012, Wagstaffe said.
In accepting Blocker’s no contest plea on Thursday, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon indicated he will find Blocker guilty of second-degree murder and all the other charges in the case and impose a term of 40 years to life in state prison when he sentences him on May 8. Wagstaffe said he was “very surprised” by Blocker’s decision to plead no contest to murder at the beginning of his trial, saying “it’s not something we see happen very often.
” He said, “I think this is a good resolution of the case but sadly for Jones’ family this won’t bring her back. Perhaps they can now move on with their lives.” Blocker’s attorney, Spencer Strellis, declined to comment on the case today. He didn’t give an opening statement on Thursday, choosing instead to reserve it until the prosecution rested its case.
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