OAKLAND -- An Oakland man was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for a brazen daylight West Oakland neighborhood shooting that killed two men four years ago.
Authorities never identified a clear motive as to why 31-year-old DeShawn Reed fatally shot Oakland residents Victor Johns, 29, and John Jones, 56, in front of others at 30th and Linden streets on March 5, 2010. The man who drove Reed to and from the shooting scene, 29-year-old Jason Watts, was tried separately and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole last year.
At an emotional hearing that drew tears from Judge Gloria Rhynes on Friday, the families of Johns and Jones spoke about how painful it was losing their loved ones and told Reed that they will be praying for him. Reed did not make a statement.
My son "was a good man," John Jones' mother Vera Jones said. "That was my child and it hurts. It's taken four years to get to this point.
"You took my son's life, but I'm praying for you."
Prosecutor Autrey James said Reed hopped out of a black Saturn and shot and killed Johns as he was trying to run to safety into a backyard. Reed shot Jones once as he was standing on the sidewalk, and several more times as he stood above him.
"I try to imagine the fear in his heart when someone was chasing him down -- it just drives me crazy," Jones' aunt, Carolyn Silas-Sams said. "So many people have been hurt by this."
Attorney Spencer Strellis argued that Reed has been misidentified as the shooter, but the jury rejected the defense and convicted him of first-degree murder for killing Johns and second-degree murder for killing Jones. The special allegation of multiple murders made life without parole the only legal sentence.
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.