General Crime

Oakland store clerk Adhem Abdulla gets 40 years to life for murdering customer

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An East Oakland convenience store clerk has been sentenced to 40 years to life in prison for fatally shooting a man after an argument outside the store in 2010. Adhem Abdulla, 23, was convicted in April of second-degree murder for killing 46-year-old Willie Turner outside the Oakland Discount store at 7645 MacArthur Blvd. The shooting happened at about 7 p.m. on Feb. 19, 2010, after Turner allegedly punched Abdulla in the mouth because Abdulla had accused Turner’s girlfriend of shoplifting and pushed her out of the store. The jury’s verdict represented a middle ground between the positions of prosecutor Carrie Skolnick, who said Adbulla should be convicted of first-degree murder, and defense attorney William DuBois, who said he should only be convicted of voluntary manslaughter. Skolnick argued for a first first-degree murder conviction because she thinks Abdulla premeditated the shooting, alleging that he thought about it before he did it, as he didn’t have a gun at the time that Turner hit him and had to go back inside the store to get one.

But DuBois said voluntary manslaughter would be an appropriate verdict for Abdulla because he believes he shot Turner in the heat of passion. DuBois also said Abdulla was on edge because the store is located in a dangerous neighborhood and he had to deal with frequent gun violence and drug dealing in the area. However, Skolnick told jurors that Abdulla didn’t act in self-defense because Turner was walking away from the store and wasn’t a threat to Abdulla when he shot Turner. Turner’s niece told Abdulla at his sentencing hearing on Monday that he “had no right to take (Turner) from us.” Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson sentenced Abdulla to 15 years to life for his second-degree murder conviction plus another 25 years for using a gun to kill Turner. Turner initially was scheduled to be sentenced in July but his sentencing was delayed for four months because hearings were held on defense motions seeking a new trial and seeking to have his conviction reduced to a lesser charge. Jacobson denied both motions.

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