MARTINEZ -- A North Richmond man is facing at least 50 years to life in prison after being convicted Friday of murdering a 20-year-old El Cerrito man he mistook for a gang member in 2010.
Nickie Donald, 22, smirked and snickered as a court clerk read guilty verdicts for first-degree murder, attempted murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle and shooting from a moving vehicle. The jury acquitted Donald of charge enhancements that alleged the shooting was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang.
Donald testified that he killed 20-year-old Asama Ayyad and wounded Ayyad's 15-year-old cousin on June 25, 2010, because he mistook them for brothers Aaron and Markeith Miles -- two central Richmond gang members awaiting sentencing in unrelated and murder and attempted murder cases. His attorney argued Donald believed he was acting in self-defense and asked for an acquittal.
Ayyad and his cousin had been volunteering that night at the Masjid Al-Noor mosque in Richmond and were driving while on an errand when they were fired upon at the intersection of 22nd Street and Bissell Avenue. Ayyad was hit several times but kept driving before crashing his Lexus coupe near the mosque. He died at a Richmond hospital later that night.
His mother was in tears after the verdict was read Friday morning.
"The truth has come out," Fayza Ayyad said.
"If we give (Donald) life, we give him 50 years, we give him 75 years, it's still not
Donald is scheduled to be sentenced on April 19.
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.