OAKLAND — A suspected East Oakland drug dealer known as "Little Feez" was found guilty Tuesday of first degree murder for the killing of a rival in 2006 and of assault with a firearm on child younger than 5.
Eric Houston, 19, shot Daniel Leon, 24, on Dec. 11, 2006, near the corner of 101st Avenue and Birch Street while Leon was driving his car. Bullets from Houston's gun also hit a 4-year-old girl who was riding in a car with her parents near the shooting.
It took the jury about two days to find Houston guilty. The trial lasted about two weeks.
"I am pleased for the families," said deputy district attorney Chris Infante. "(Leon's) mother is breathing a sigh of relief."
Infante said the verdict also brought relief to the family of the 4-year-old girl who will have two bullet fragments in her back for the rest of her life.
"They were terrified that day," Infante said. "They did not know what happened, they just heard shots and the next thing they knew, their 4-year-old daughter was crying."
Houston was part of a drug gang that operated in the area of 96th Avenue and Birch Street while Leon was part of a gang that covered an area near 100th Avenue and Walnut Street.
The two gangs had been fighting since a fellow member of Leon's was killed earlier in 2006.
According to police, Houston saw Leon driving in the neighborhood, got out of his car and fired his assault rifle toward Leon's car.
Leon was hit, the car went out of control and crashed into a fence in front of a house.
Meanwhile, the 4-year-old girl was in a car with her family on 101st Avenue when a bullet flew through the back window and hit her.
Infante said Houston will face at least 50 years to life in prison.