San Francisco Bay Area Violent Crime

Kejuan Hill Gets 40 Years to Life for Murdering 16-Year-Old Boy

An Oakland man was sentenced today to 40 years to life in state prison for fatally shooting a 16-year-old acquaintance in East Oakland in 2012. Kejuan Hill, who was only 17 at the time but is now 23, was convicted in February of second-degree murder for the shooting death of Charles Hill III, of Hayward, who wasn’t related, in the 2500 block of Church Street, near the Eastmont Town Center, shortly after 10 p.m. on March 23, 2012.

Kejuan Hill admitted during his trial that he fatally shot Charles Hill but claimed he was just trying to play a prank on the other teen, didn’t know the gun he was carrying was loaded and it went off accidentally. Hill’s lawyer, Christina Moore, told jurors in her closing argument that they should only convict him of involuntary manslaughter, saying that Hill “played what turned out to be an incredibly poor joke.” But Alameda County prosecutor Patrick Moriarty said Hill should be convicted of either first-degree or second-degree murder, saying, “This was not an accident” and alleging Hill “calmly executed a 16-year-old boy.”

Kejuan Hill testified that he was at a party that night but left with a group of about 11 friends, which didn’t include Charles Hill, after they heard that there would be a shooting at the party. Kejuan Hill said two of his friends got into an argument because one of the friends was armed with what appeared to be a non-functioning gun and the other friend said that was stupid because it would leave them defenseless if there was a shooting. Hill said one of the friends gave the supposedly non-functioning gun to him to carry and he believed it was incapable of firing because it felt light, as if it didn’t have any bullets in it.

Hill said that when he and his friends walked away from the party they happened to run into Charles Hill, who he said was sitting on a curb while he was rolling a joint of marijuana. Kejuan Hill said he pulled the gun on Charles Hill as a prank but then it suddenly discharged and killed his friend. Moore said Hill didn’t go to the police after the shooting because he grew up in East Oakland and people there distrust the police and that at the urging of his mother he fled to Kansas City, Missouri, where he got a job at a Denny’s restaurant using his brother’s name.

Acting on a tip, a U.S. Marshals Service-Kansas City Police Task Force arrested Hill at the Denny’s on Oct. 26, 2015, three-and-a-half years after the fatal shooting. Moriarty told jurors in the case that Hill’s testimony “was completely untruthful” and his statement that he and Charles Hill were friends was incorrect because Charles’ friends told authorities that the two teens weren’t very close and one of them said Kejuan never liked Charles.

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