General Crime

Shawn Martin Pleads Not Guilty to Murdering His Neighbor Melissa Martinez

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An Oakland man pleaded not guilty today to a charge that he murdered his next-door neighbor in East Oakland in April. Shawn Martin, 38, has admitted that he shot 21-year-old Melissa Martinez in her car near 105th Avenue and Acalanes Drive in the Sobrante Park neighborhood at about 9:30 p.m. on April 23, according to a probable cause statement by Oakland police Officer Michael Cardoza.

An investigation disclosed that Martin and Martinez lived next door to each other in the 10500 block of Acalanes Drive and that Martin had had problems with her in the past and had brandished a firearm at her, Cardoza wrote. Martin reported the shooting and initially claimed someone was shooting at his front door but later admitted his involvement in the shooting, Cardoza said.

Police found a firearm believed to be the murder weapon at Martin’s home, he said. In addition to murder, Martin is charged with being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm because prosecutors allege that he has prior convictions for marijuana for sale and being an ex-felon in possession of a gun. Martin is scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court on Aug. 18 for a pretrial hearing.

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