A 38-year-old Oakland man was convicted of first-degree murder today for fatally stabbing his 19-year-old ex-girlfriend at a West Oakland market in 2014. Jurors only deliberated for about five hours before returning their verdict against Abdol Ali Omar, 38, for the death of Rusamie Ashly Phongphoumy of Richmond inside the Oakland Market at 1000 18th St. at about 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 30, 2014.
Omar admitted on the witness stand earlier this week that he fatally stabbed Phongphoumy with an 8-inch chef’s knife but claimed that he only wanted to hurt her and didn’t intend to kill her. Defense lawyer Jared Winter said in his closing argument that Omar snapped after she told him she’d been with another man the previous night. “Her final statement provoked him and caused a sudden heat of passion,” Winter said. Winter admitted that Omar committed a crime but said he should be convicted of a lesser charge than murder.
He didn’t specify a charge but hinted that manslaughter would be the most appropriate verdict. But prosecutor Matt Foley said Omar should be convicted of first-degree murder, arguing that Omar premeditated the stabbing and killed Phongphoumy because she’d told him she didn’t want to see him anymore.
Foley said Omar was “calm, cool and collected” throughout the stabbing incident, which was captured on the store’s video surveillance cameras and has been shown to jurors. Foley said that in text messages shortly before the stabbing Omar told Phongphoumy, “No one takes my heart and breaks it” and, “You will go with me. No one will have you.” The prosecutor said, “He was telling her exactly what he was going to do and then he did it.”
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