OAKLAND -- There is no question Laron Logwood killed Edwin "Mikey" Grady outside a corner market in East Oakland in the middle of the afternoon three years ago.
A surveillance camera recorded the entire incident and shows Logwood, 35, talking with Grady before pulling out a handgun, pointing it at Grady's chest and then firing a single shot.
The question a jury will have to answer in this murder trial is why.
Deputy district attorney Tim Wellman said, in opening statements Thursday that the answer is simple and that evidence will prove the shooting was first-degree murder.
Wellman said the killing was sparked by a verbal spat between Grady, a drug dealer, and Logwood, who arrived at the market after learning that a female cousin had gotten into a fight with another man.
"This case is not complicated, it's not a mystery," Wellman said moments after he showed the video that captured the killing. "The defendant gunned down Edwin Grady in a violent, brazen attack."
But Logwood's defense attorney, William DuBois, told the jury that the case is not simple and that the facts will force jurors to see the world through the eyes of a man who lived his life in the violent ghetto and who had witnessed murder and violent crime firsthand.
DuBois said he will prove the killing was justified because Logwood feared his family members, who were at the scene, were in danger of being shot by Grady.
"He is part of the Oakland violence,
Logwood arrived at the Arrwa One Stop Market at 86th and Bancroft avenues just before 2 p.m. July 16, 2009, after getting a phone call from his cousin who said she needed help. When Logwood arrived, other members of his extended family were already at the scene and congregating in front of the market.
DuBois told the jury that he will prove that Grady was upset that so many people were standing in front of the market because he used spotto sell drugs.
The surveillance video recording shows that Grady eventually arrived in his white Infinity sport-utility vehicle, driving by the scene slowly and then turning around and parking on Bancroft Avenue in front of the store.
The video then shows Grady getting out of the truck, walking toward the group and hugging a man who was there. It then shows Grady getting into a verbal spat with Logwood just before the shooting.
DuBois said he will prove that Grady was carrying a gun and that he told the group to the leave the scene or face being shot. Even though police found Grady without a gun, DuBois said the weapon was taken from him as he lay dying on the sidewalk.
DuBois said his client's past dealing with violence made him paranoid that Grady was going to follow through with the threat to shoot everyone, so he shot Grady instead.
But Wellman said the evidence in the video shows that Logwood shot Grady as Grady was talking to a woman.