OAKLAND -- A 19-year-old alleged Fremont gang member was sent to prison for 16 years to life Friday for stabbing a Newark Memorial High School football start to death outside a party last year.
Abraham Hade had no reaction as Alameda County Superior Court Judge Larry Goodman pronounced the expected punishment that came as a result of a jury verdict in March.
The jury found Hade guilty of second-degree murder for killing Osana Futi, 18, as the football player fought with Hade's friend at about 11 p.m. on April 28, 2012 near the corner of Hyde Park and Yellowstone Park drives in Fremont.
Hade testified during the trial that the stabbing of Futi was conducted by a juvenile friend who told police that he had stabbed Futi.
But the jury believed evidence presented by deputy district attorney Elgin Lowe which suggested the juvenile was attempting to take responsibility for the crime because his punishment would be more lenient.
Although the jury didn't believe Hade's testimony, it also was not fully convinced by Lowe's argument that Hade committed first-degree murder and did so to support membership to an alleged gang.
Instead, the jury found that the murder was second degree, concluding that Hade did not think about killing Futi when he stuck an 8-inch blade into the football player's thigh.
Nevertheless, Lowe said he was pleased with the verdict and the sentence pronounced Friday. And Goodman said just because the jury found the murder was not committed to enhance a gang, he believed there was enough evidence to prove Hade was a gang member.
"I'm glad justice was served," Lowe said.
A family friend to Futi wrote an unsigned letter to the court saying the family will never forgive Hade, whose nickname is Memphis.
"I have no sympathy for Memphis but I do feel sorry for his mother," the letter stated. "Like Memphis said before, 'That's what you get, that's what you deserve.' Now I say the same thing to him, that's what you get, that's what you deserve."
Hade's attorney, Tom Knutson, declined to comment after the sentencing Friday but said after the verdict in March that his client was innocent.
In court Friday, Knutson said he hopes his contention that the juvenile killed Futi will come to light.
"We hope that one day that will be established," he said.