A jury in Martinez today found a man guilty of nearly two dozen felonies in connection with a murder and subsequent violent kidnapping and robbery spree in Richmond in 2009. Jimmie Doss, 36, of Richmond, was convicted in Contra Costa County Superior Court of 21 felony charges including first-degree murder, attempted murder, multiple counts of kidnapping for extortion, false imprisonment by violence, robbery, making criminal threats and several enhancements for use of a firearm.
The charges stemmed from a November 2009 shooting that killed 38-year-old Clarence Haynes as he sat in a car and wounded another man as well as three incidents in December 2009 in which he and accomplices attacked, kidnapped and robbed victims. The jury acquitted Doss on a carjacking charge in connection with one of the kidnappings. Prosecutors said the defendant shot into a car on Roosevelt Avenue the evening of Nov. 10, 2009, killing Haynes and wounding the car’s driver. Deputy District Attorney Melissa Smith said Doss shot Haynes because he didn’t want him in his neighborhood and worried that his actions might draw police attention to the area.
About a month later, the defendant embarked on a robbery spree over several days in which he had a 15-year-old prostitute lure men into a vacant apartment where they were beaten, robbed and held for hours while Doss and his accomplices used their bank cards to withdraw cash and buy numerous items, according to prosecutors. In two of the incidents, the victims jumped out of second-floor windows to escape. During the third kidnapping, the victim was able to fight off Doss’s accomplice who had been tasked with keeping him from leaving the apartment.
At today’s hearing, Doss grinned and laughed silently to himself as a clerk read the verdicts. Extra security was called in this afternoon to watch the defendant, whose behavior during the trial included numerous outbursts, demands to return to his cell and repeatedly invoking his Fifth Amendment rights when called to the stand. Today deputies handcuffed Doss to a chair at the end of a table more than 10 feet away from his attorney, Christopher Martin. Doss also asked to waive his right to be present during a second phase of the trial this afternoon in which the jury heard about his prior felony convictions.
Under California’s “three strikes” sentencing law, the jury must decide whether it is true that the defendant has been convicted of two prior felonies. “This was basically a mockery,” Doss said while the jurors left the courtroom for a short recess, adding that he expects to be released after appealing his conviction. “I would like to go to my cell,” he said. The jury is set to return to court on Wednesday morning to deliberate on the three-strikes phase of the trial.
Doss was convicted in 1996 of first-degree burglary and discharging a firearm and again in 2008 in connection with a 2007 armed robbery in Richmond, according to prosecutors. He spent more than eight years in San Quentin State Prison for those crimes and subsequent parole violations. Although a three-strikes conviction can mean a heavier sentence in many cases, Smith said the jury’s finding is not expected to make a difference in Doss’s sentence.
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