OAKLAND -- Abraham Hade is either a cunning leader of a teenager-filled Fremont gang or the innocent victim of a slipshod police murder investigation, attorneys argued in court Monday.

Hade, 19, is accused of killing Osana Futi, 18, just outside of a house party April 28 by stabbing the star Newark Memorial High School football player with an 8-inch knife in his upper thigh.

The knife stab ruptured Futi's femoral artery and he died as blood spewed from his body as he lay in the middle of Hyde Park Drive in Fremont.

The stabbing occurred, testimony revealed, after Futi picked several fights with members of a gang Hade is accused of leading.

Deputy District Attorney Elgin Lowe told a jury of six men and six women that he has presented enough evidence during the trial to secure a guilty conviction of Hade.

That evidence, Lowe said, includes an identification by a witness, admissions by two of Hade's accused fellow gang members and numerous instances of Hade taking actions that show a guilty conscience.

"This man did what he was taught to do: avenge someone who disrespected his gang," Lowe said. "That is something (gang members) do not allow to happen."

Hade, however, has denied being the killer, blaming, from the witness stand, a 14-year-old friend who would face a significantly less severe punishment because he is a juvenile.


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Hade's defense attorney, Tom Knutsen, based his entire defense on blaming the 14-year-old and pointing out flaws in the police murder investigation that Knutsen said could have proved his client's innocence.

An integral part of that defense is a video recording of the 14-year-old's police interrogation during which he said he stabbed Futi in self-defense.

"The train is out of the station and the terminal of wrongful conviction is its destination," Knutsen said. "The message that needs to be sent is that before a jury convicts a defendant of a very serious offense, they are not going to approve a slipshod investigation." In addition to the 14-year-old's confession, Knutsen told the jury that the prosecution's star witness who identified Hade could not be trusted because she was an emotional wreck at the time of the stabbing.

That witness, Alexander Reed, admitted that her memory of seeing the killer was "blurry, not a perfect glance and not a crystal clear view."

But Lowe argued that the 14-year-old's confession was a ruse devised by the alleged gang in an attempt to blame a juvenile of murder, knowing that the punishment is less severe than it is for an adult found guilty of the crime.

Lowe pointed to the same videotaped interrogation of the 14-year-old which also showed the teenager finally breaking down and telling detectives that Hade was the killer.

And, Lowe said, Reed's identification of Hade speaks for itself as it was recorded.

In that audio recording, Reed is heard calming rejecting suspects as they are paraded before a one-way mirror at the Fremont police station. But when police bring Hade in front of the mirror, Reed begins to hyperventilate, sob loudly and tells police that Hade is the killer.

"I know the defense wants to say she was confused, traumatized, but she gave a consistent description to three different officers," Lowe said. "There was no hesitation (when she saw Hade), her body had a physical reaction to what she saw." The jury will begin deliberations in the case Tuesday.