OAKLAND -- Four men accused of a triple slaying outside a San Leandro warehouse party two years ago must stand trial for murder before a jury, a judge ruled Friday.
The ruling by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Gloria Rhynes came after a lengthy preliminary hearing that revealed new details on a horrific shooting on Oct. 2, 2011, that left two teenage girls and a 23-year-old man dead.
Accused of killing the three victims are Paul Arthur Stevenson, 22; Alvin Perry II, 22; Stanley Leon Turner, 20; and Aaron Isaiah Stewart, 20.
Evidence presented during the preliminary hearing showed that the shooting occurred because Stevenson and Perry had "problems" with Joshua Alford, the 23-year-old who was fatally shot.
According to both surviving victims and others who saw the shooting, Stevenson and Stewart began shooting at Alford as revelers were leaving a "tattoo party" that was being held at a San Leandro warehouse.
Alford, who was from Oakland, had just gotten into the rear passenger seat of a Ford Explorer when Stevenson and Stewart walked up from both sides of the SUV and began firing their handguns, witness said.
In addition to allegedly killing Alford, the two are accused of killing Shanice Kiel, 19, of San Francisco, and Leneasha Northington, 16, of San Leandro, who were also in the Ford Explorer.
Stewart admitted to police that he was one of the shooters and implicated Stevenson and Perry by telling police they arrested the correct people.
Although no witnesses identified Perry as being a shooter, deputy district attorney Patrick Moriarty said statements Stewart gave police coupled with information police gained from a friend of the four men proves that Perry also was a shooter.
Turner is being charged with murder because prosecutors say he supplied one of the guns used in the crime, helped plot the killing and helped at least one of the four men escape the scene.
In addition to three counts of murder, the four men are also charged with three counts of attempted murder and various gun enhancements. Taken together, the charges can result in the men facing the death penalty, or more likely, facing life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Why the men had a problem with Alford remains unknown. Evidence presented at the preliminary hearing did not explore the cause of the confrontation and Moriarty declined to comment about it after.
All four men, three of whom are from Oakland and one from Fairfield, are scheduled to return to court on Oct. 25 at the Hayward Hall of Justice.