A Hayward man was sentenced today to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the fatal shooting of a man during a burglary gone wrong at an apartment building in Hayward three years ago.
Joseph Connors, 24, was convicted on July 8 of first-degree murder and the special circumstance of committing a murder during a burglary for his role in the death of 28-year-old Maurice Collins 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 his mother, his cousin and others about it.
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 the 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.
The prosecutor said Delosangeles took responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty to second-degree murder but Connors fought the charges against him so his case went to trial.
Delosangeles was sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison on July 25.
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