‘Red Beard’ Murder Trial Ongoing; Witness Testifies to Home Damage From Drive-By Shooting

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By Lois Yoo

ALAMEDA, CA – Witnesses shared their testimonies in an ongoing murder trial here Tuesday in Alameda County Superior Court involving a drive-by shooting that ended in the death of the victim.

On June 7, 2018, defendant Zacharia Grubbs allegedly murdered a victim who was riding a motorcycle on a residential street in San Lorenzo. It has been reported that the defendant and the victim knew each other, but it has been debatable as to how they knew each other.

The prosecution said the defendant has told the police before that he knew the victim and had a bad relationship with him because he is known as a gang dropout and robber.

Later, the police confirmed that the victim had the defendant’s phone number in his cell phone contacts and had called the defendant numerous times 10 days prior to the actual shooting. The defendant’s contact is listed as “Red Bread,” which the police believe to be a misspelling of his actual nickname, Red Beard.

This nickname refers to the defendant’s red beard, which many witnesses pointed out when describing physical traits of a suspect to law enforcement after the shooting.

There have been some rumors that were eventually reported to law enforcement regarding why the shooting occurred in the first place. Some people reported the victim had a drug debt that he owed to the defendant and others said the defendant was mad at the victim for stealing a motorcycle from him.

Grubbs claimed that he had nothing to do with the shooting and that he was elsewhere when it happened, and has pleaded not guilty.

However, law enforcement eavesdropped into Grubb’s jail phone calls after he was arrested, and claim he “told the male he ‘f*cked up’ and that there was a video camera at the house where ‘it’ happened,” according to a probable cause statement reported by The Mercury News.

The statement adds Grubbs “continued to state he should have left, but they (law enforcement) would have caught him sooner or later so he might as well get it over with now.”

Grubbs also shared over the phone that a Honda Odyssey van was at “Mesa Verde.” Law enforcement later found an Odyssey van at Mesa Verde Apartments, which they believe to be the vehicle used in the drive-by shooting.

This van was described by one of Tuesday’s testifying witnesses, who claimed “I heard a couple loud pops” from outside of his home the night of the incident. The witness specifically identified the vehicle that drove by his house as a Honda Odyssey van.

The next witness was also home at the time of the shooting but also could not see the driver of the Odyssey van.

When she looked out the window after hearing the gunshots, she saw a gentleman fall face down to the ground. She yelled from inside her home, “Are you all right?” a few times but “he was unresponsive.” She also said, “I heard a grunt.”

The witness immediately called the police afterward and they asked her to go out to check on the gentleman. But the witness said, “I refused to do that for my safety.”

The name of the third and last witness was inaudible through the court’s live recording. The last witness, a male, was jogging by a school nearby his home, which was also on the street where the shooting occurred.

By the time he got back to his neighborhood, he said he had to wait at least an hour to be allowed back into his own home due to police investigation.

Police officers were investigating his home, specifically the refrigerator in his garage because it had a hole from the shooting. There was also a hole in his garage door. His vehicle also had minor scratches.

After this third witness, the court went on a recess and the rest of the live recording became unavailable due to technical difficulties.

The trial resumes this week.

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About The Author

Lois Yoo is a third year at UC Berkeley and is originally from Los Angeles, California.

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