A Hayward man has been convicted of first-degree murder with special circumstances for the fatal shooting of a man during an apartment burglary three years ago.
Joseph Connors, 24, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole when he’s sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Roy Hashimoto on Sept. 11 for his role in the death of 28-year-old Maurice Collins.
The shooting happened at Collins’ apartment in the 29000 block of Vanderbilt Street in Hayward shortly before midnight on Jan. 4, 2011.
Prosecutor Jimmie Wilson said Connors and his best friend, 25-year-old Richard Delosangeles, had called Collins earlier that night in an attempt to buy marijuana, but Collins didn’t have any marijuana to sell so he turned off his phone.
Connors and Delosangeles then decided to burglarize Collins’ home so Connors put on his bulletproof vest and gave Delosangles his 40-caliber handgun, according to Wilson.
Hayward police said Connors and Delosangeles climbed a tree that gave them access to a second-story balcony, where they broke into Collin’s apartment through a sliding glass patio door.
Once they were inside, the two men confronted Collins and his girlfriend, police said.
Collins reached for his 9mm handgun but was shot in the head by Delosangeles before he could get off a shot, according to Wilson.
The prosecutor said that after the fatal shooting, Delosangeles felt bad about it and “told everybody about it,” including his mother and cousin.
Wilson said Connors decided to “beat Delosangeles to the punch” by going to Hayward police the next day and claiming that he was “a good Samaritan” and could help them solve Collins’s murder.
Connors told police that Delosangeles had bragged to him that he murdered Collins and subsequently provided police with the murder weapon, clothing, and recordings of Delosangeles bragging about the murder, Wilson said.
After Delosangeles was arrested, he confessed to being the person who fired the shot that killed Collins, but implicated Connors as being present at the scene, according to Wilson.
Delosangeles pleaded guilty to second-degree murder two months ago and testified against Connors. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 24.
Jurors announced their verdict against Connors on Tuesday. In addition to first-degree murder, he was convicted of committing a murder during a burglary.
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