Jealousy Discussed in Trial for 2020 Murder as Possible Motive

By Anna Olsen

ALAMEDA, CA – Gruesome photographs of the victim and a possible motive behind the murder were a few of the topics discussed during a Tuesday morning jury trial here in Alameda County Superior Court.

William Hommert was arrested for the shooting murder of Lance Barr, which occurred on Oct. 2, 2020, in Oakland. The murder was committed while Hommert was on bail for a separate crime involving drug possession.

Hommert faces a multitude of charges, including murder and firearm possession.

Trevor L. Simpson was arrested in connection to the same murder and faces charges of murder and shooting at an inhabited dwelling.

During the Tuesday morning jury trial, a discussion took place regarding whether or not it was appropriate to show gruesome photos of the victim in court.

The prosecution noted the value of photographs in a difficult case “like this” in which the jury is given the duty to decide between first and second degree murder or expressed and implied malice.

Judge James Cramer expressed some apprehension regarding showing the photos in court, arguing “photos like that would inflame juries’ passions and then they are not as objectively analyzing who the assailants were.”

Additionally, a possible motive behind why Hommert committed the crime was discussed.

Allegedly, there was a female individual who was in a relationship with Hommert and who also knew the victim.

The potential of jealousy between Hommert and Barr as a motive behind the murder was debated briefly in court.

“There is nothing that would suggest some jealous rage,” stated one attorney, adding, “The fact that Mr. Hommert was in a relationship with (Jane Doe) and (Jane Doe) knew Mr. Barr, doesn’t establish that he was jealous of that relationship.”

About The Author

Anna Olsen is a recent UC Berkeley graduate originally from Seattle, WA. She double majored in law and global studies and plans to head to law school after taking a gap year to become a juvenile defense attorney.

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