OAKLAND -- A Berkeley man charged with shooting three teenagers during a gunbattle in downtown Oakland two years ago was sent to prison Thursday for nine years after reaching a plea deal.
Jaleel Gistand, who was 19 years old when arrested in December 2011, faced 57 years in prison after he was charged as an adult with three counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm and various gun enhancement penalties.
In July, however, Gistand was offered and accepted a plea deal from the Alameda County District Attorney's Office in which he was found guilty of one count of assault with a semi-automatic firearm and using a firearm to commit a felony.
With credits for time served, Gistand, 20, of Berkeley, should be released from prison in 7½ years.
"It's always sad when a young man, who really is a bright kid, is sent to prison," said Gistand's attorney, assistant public defender Bob Mertens. "It's tough to sign off on a young guy going to prison for a decade."
Gistand was arrested five days after he and three others, two 17-year-olds and one 15-year-old, engaged in a gunbattle just before midnight on Dec. 23, 2011, near the corner of Broadway and 14th Street in downtown Oakland.
The battle resulted in one 17-year-old and the 15-year-old being shot in the back and one 17-year-old being shot in the arm. Gistand was not hit during the gunbattle.
Mertens said investigators found bullet casings from two separate guns, proving that his client was not the only person firing a weapon; however, Oakland police did not arrest anyone else. Mertens declined to discuss what caused the shootout.
At the time of his arrest, Oakland police speculated that Gistand might have physically assaulted two girls before the shootout occurred.
Representatives from the District Attorney's Office could not be reached for comment.