OAKLAND -- An Alameda County jury deliberated for less than a day before finding a Berkeley man guilty on Thursday of first-degree murder in the gruesome knife attack on a 26-year-old woman in an East Oakland apartment in 2012.
Jamaal Prince, 36, faces 26 years to life in state prison for killing Berkeley resident Jennifer "Jessica" Kingeter on Dec. 18, 2012. A sentencing date is scheduled for Sept. 5.
Prince used a long kitchen knife to stab and slash Kingeter hundreds of times after attempting to rape her, deputy district attorney Danielle Hilton told jurors. She said the ex-convict was angry and vengeful because Kingeter refused Prince sex that he thought he deserved because he supplied cocaine and alcohol to her and her male friend that night.
Kingeter was found dead in a blood-soaked bathroom nude from the waist up and covered in stab and slash marks of various depths. Hilton said the clothes torn from her body and the cuts on her hands were evidence of an attempted rape and showed that Kingeter fought for her life.
Defense attorney Al Thews had asked for a manslaughter verdict, and argued that Prince acted in imperfect self-defense after Kingeter stabbed him with the knife first. As anger and emotions intensified, Prince killed in the heat of passion, Thews said.
Kingeter's friend Julius Johnson testified that he and Kingeter were sitting on a couch talking when Prince started "tripping out" and waving the knife.
Johnson said he was scared for his life and ran from the apartment thinking that Kingeter was right behind him. He said that he was worried for her safety but didn't call police when he reached a pay phone 10 blocks away.
Hilton said Prince brutally attacked Kingeter in a bathroom and then stayed in there for two hours before he ran naked and bloodied to a neighbor's house claiming that a man had stabbed him and killed his "(expletive)." He had cuts on his hands and a stab wound to his thigh.
Follow Malaika Fraley at Twitter.com/malaika.fraley.