An ex-convict was sentenced at a dramatic hearing today to 26 years to life in state prison for fatally stabbing a 26-year-old Berkeley woman at an East Oakland apartment complex in 2012.
In sentencing 36-year-old Jamaal Prince of Berkeley the death of Jennifer Kingeter at an apartment at 5800 Walnut St. in Oakland at about 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2012, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jon Rolefson said, “What Mr. Prince did to that lady was sick.”
Prosecutor Danielle Hilton said Prince brutally attacked Kingeter, a hairstylist and Laney College student, because she refused to have sex with him and she suffered six stab wounds and more than 100 shallow but long incisions.
Kingeter’s mother, who asked that her name not be used, said Kingeter “was brutally murdered by a man who didn’t even know her.”
The mother said, “She (Kingeter) entered heaven early. He (Prince) will spend the rest of his life in hell.”
Tensions spilled over when a friend of Prince’s expressed anger after Rolefson refused to let the friend read aloud in court a letter that was written by Prince’s mother.
A female friend of Kingeter then said, “Imagine how we feel” and burst out of the courtroom in tears.
A female friend or family member of Prince also left the courtroom and got into a shouting match with Kingeter’s friend in the hallway but several bailiffs separated the two women and quieted them down.
Prince’s lawyer, Al Thews, told jurors during Prince’s trial that they should only find Prince guilty of manslaughter because he had an honest but unreasonable belief that he was acting in self-defense.
Thews said he believes that Prince stabbed Kingeter only after she stabbed him first and left him with a six-inch stab wound in his leg.
But Hilton said she believes that Prince instigated the confrontation and stabbed her multiple times because he was trying to rape her and she wouldn’t give in.
Rolefson said today that it’s not completely clear what happened but the most likely scenario is that Kingeter grabbed a knife to defend herself from Prince so that he couldn’t sexually assault her.
Rolefson said, “She died defending herself and standing up for herself so her family should be proud of her.”
The judge said that once Prince got the knife away from Kingeter he had no reason to stab her and “from that point on nothing makes sense or justifies what he did to her.”
In an interview with Oakland police that was played during his trial, Prince alleged that Kingeter had attacked her and he had no choice except to stab her to protect himself.
Prince, who didn’t speak in court today, said, “She was going to kill me or I was going to kill her. That’s what I thought.”
Prince has prior convictions for assault by means to produce great bodily injury in August 2010, vandalism causing more than $400 in damage in June 2008, possession of a firearm by a felon in January 1999, grand theft from a person in September 1996 and leaving the scene of an accident in which someone was seriously injured in January 2008.
All of Prince’s previous crimes occurred in Alameda County except for the leaving the scene of an accident incident, which occurred in Stanislaus County.
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