By Alex Jimenez
OAKLAND, CA- This Thursday in Alameda County Superior Court a jury heard closing arguments from lawyers regarding the 2019 shooting that resulted in the death of a person trying to keep the peace during a physical confrontation.
Brenton Boatwright is being charged with murder, first degree attempted murder, and shooting at an occupied space after killing a friend, Kaylen Tate, 24.
Key to the prosecutor’s case was codefendant Abdulastar Muqbel, who agreed to a plea deal for a lesser sentence in exchange to testify for the prosecution.
The incident stems from an altercation that occurred between Muqbel and Boatwright in Oakland where a shootout ensued. Tate had tried to intervene as a peacemaker but was ultimately shot.
According to the Mercury News “a security camera from a home across the street shows shots being fired, and Boatwright and Tate running in different directions.”
Deputy District Attorney Charles Francis Biesto argued Boatwright fired the fatal shot and was the first to bring the gun onto the scene.
“You can tell who the aggressor is. Tate sees the gun; he’s concerned about Boatwright because he has the gun,” said Biesto when referring to the video of Tate physically intervening.
“He’ got the gun. He’s pulled it out at a crowded street,” said DDA Biesto, adding, “He’s guilty of first degree murder and attempted murder. It doesn’t matter if you’re a bad shot.”
With Muqbel’s testimony being critical to the prosecution’s argument, defense attorney Daniel Horowitz tried to discredit Muqbel as a witness.
“He’s going to lie to you over and over and over and walk away from a 15-to-life sentence,” he told jurors according to the Mercury News who covered a previous proceeding.
During Thursday’s trial, details like the color of the gun and contradictory statements were criticized by Horowitz.
“We already know he changes his story from right to left, but keep in mind he’s also had the advantage of watching the video,” said Horowitz. “ He’s going to change his story in an informed manner.”
Horowitz also spent a great deal of time examining the footage showing smoke coming out of the back of Muqbel’s car, arguing that is where the fatal shot was fired. Muqbel told authorities that the smoke came from smoking something, not gunfire from him.