MARTINEZ -- Witness testimony began Tuesday at the trial of a North Richmond man charged with murdering a 20-year-old El Cerrito man in a case of mistaken identity.

Asama Ayyad was killed and his 15-year-old friend shot in the leg on June 25, 2010 when Ayyad's Lexus coupe was fired upon at the intersection of 22nd Street and Bissell Avenue in Richmond. The victims were on an errand to buy juice for a gathering at Masjid Al-Noor mosque when they were mistaken for gang members, police said.

The alleged shooter, 22-year-old Nickie Donald, is on trial for murder, attempted murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle and shooting from a vehicle.

The first witness to testify Tuesday was a young woman who said she saw Donald fire at the Lexus from the driver's seat of the van in which she and several others were Donald's passengers.

The trial, taking place in Judge Theresa Canepa's Martinez courtroom, is expected to last about two weeks.

Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.



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