OAKLAND -- Less than an hour before 3-year-old Carlos Nava became a casualty to an Oakland gang war, Lawrence Denard filmed himself waving the murder weapon and talking about killing rival gangsters, a prosecutor told jurors Tuesday.
The video, eyewitness accounts and cellphone records are among the "overwhelming" evidence indicating Denard and fellow gang member Willie Torrence are guilty of the child's murder and the attempted murders of two rival gang members, prosecutor Ben Beltramo said in his closing argument at the trial for the two Oakland men.
Attorneys for Denard, 29, and Torrence, 25, will give their closing arguments on Wednesday, when each are expected to argue that their clients have been misidentified as being responsible for the Aug. 8, 2011, daytime drive-by shooting outside a market on International Boulevard at 64th Avenue.
Carlos and his older brother were leaving a grocery store with their mother when the younger Oakland boy was hit by a stray bullet a store-length away from where the intended targets of the shooting -- Robert Hudson and Jerome Williams -- were shot and wounded.
When the trial opened more than a month ago, jurors were shown a YouTube video depicting the carnage, with the boy's tiny body on the ground, surrounded by hysterical adults.
Witnesses identified Denard as the shooter and Torrence as the man slowly driving the gray Dodge Neon from which the bullets flew, Beltramo said. Torrence had previously been ticketed in the vehicle -- his girlfriend's -- and after the shooting drove to the woman's workplace in San Jose before fleeing to Las Vegas, Beltramo said.
Denard afterward hid out in Pittsburg, where police found two guns but not the .40-caliber Glock pistol seen in Denard's cellphone video. Prosecutors allege Denard ditched the gun after the shooting.
Surviving shooting victims and other trial witnesses had been subjected to intimidation tactics by Denard and Torrence since before their arrests for the shooting, Beltramo said.
Denard was already in jail when he sent his girlfriend 20 pages of case documents he obtained from his former attorney that pertained to people who had implicated him and Torrence in the case, along with an order to find out where the people lived, the prosecutor said.
"This is no less than a hit from an enforcer of the gang ... " Beltramo said. "'No face, no case' is the writing found in his (Denard's) cell."
Jury deliberations are expected to begin late Wednesday or early Thursday in the court of Judge Jeffrey Horner.
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.