Nov 24, 2022
Crime and Public Safety | Stockton man to stand trial for allegedly murdering sisters boyfriend, shooting dog in Oakland; lawyer calls him peacemaker who protected sister
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OAKLAND — Despite a defense attorney insisting he was a “peacemaker” and family protector, a Stockton man has been ordered to stand trial on charges of murdering his sister’s boyfriend and shooting a family dog during a heated confrontation outside of an Oakland residence, court records show.
Sammie Brown, 29, was ordered to stand trial on charges of murdering Karongie Louis Bell, 23, of Sacramento, and shooting a pit bull named Precious during an Aug.27, 2020 incident outside a home on the 1100 block of 76th Avenue. Authorities allege Brown fired several shots at Bell, who had challenged Brown to a fistfight moments earlier.
“The video clearly shows that the victim in the case pulls his shirt off in the street, which is an indication somebody wants to fist fight, and he’s shot in an almost point-blank range repeatedly,” Judge Kimberly Colwell said at the August preliminary hearing where she held Brown to answer on the charges.
The preliminary hearing, where prosecutors called neighbors, members of Bell’s family, and police investigators to testify, revealed that the shooting was captured by another resident’s home security camera and that Brown later claimed the shooting was self-defense. The resident who owned the camera testified he watched the shooting through a livestreamed video after hearing a commotion outside.
Family of Bell’s girlfriend, and police, testified that Bell’s girlfriend accused Bell of assaulting her and that she called Brown, her brother, while he was in Fremont. Brown later told police he came to Bell’s family’s home to get his sister into his car and leave. He claimed Bell had a pistol with an extended magazine, which none of the other eyewitnesses mentioned seeing, according to the testimony.
The eyewitnesses, including a neighbor, testified that Bell and Brown were standing a few feet apart, screaming at each other, when Bell took off his shirt and challenged Brown to a fight. That’s when Brown allegedly pulled a gun and fired. A police investigator testified another family member told authorities Brown fired the gun at him several times, but it malfunctioned or was out of ammunition.
In his police interview, Brown claimed the shooting of the dog was an accident, authorities testified.
Brown’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Daniel Duvernay, called the shooting a manslaughter, not murder, and said Brown went there to be a “peacemaker” until the situation went awry. He argued the shooting was “precipitated by the passion and the emotion of Mr. Bell’s assault of (his girlfriend),” and that Brown “made multiple efforts to leave, to disengage this incredibly passionate situation.”
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“It’s my belief — and I believe the evidence shows — that in this matter, Mr. Brown was by far the aggressor in this action,” Kiriu said.
Brown remains in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on a no-bail hold. No trial date is set. He is next due in court Dec. 15, records show. He pleaded not guilty to all counts in September.
News Source: mercurynews.com
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National News | 21 years in prison for man who shot Gagas dog walker
By Stefanie Dazio | Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — The man who shot and wounded Lady Gaga’s dog walker and stole her French bulldogs last year took a plea deal and was sentenced to 21 years in prison on Monday, officials said.
The Lady Gaga connection was a coincidence, authorities have said. The motive was the value of the French bulldogs, a breed that can run into the thousands of dollars, and detectives do not believe the thieves knew the dogs belonged to the musician.
James Howard Jackson, one of three men and two accomplices who participated in the violent robbery and its aftermath, pleaded no contest to one count of attempted murder, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. It was not immediately clear which attorney represented Howard on Monday.
Jackson and two others drove around Hollywood, the city of West Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley on Feb. 24, 2021 “looking for French bulldogs,” prosecutors said previously. They found Lady Gaga’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer, with the pop star’s three pets.
Jackson shot Fischer during the robbery near the famed Sunset Boulevard, during which two of the dogs were taken. A nearby doorbell camera recorded the dog walker screaming “Oh, my God! I’ve been shot!” and “Help me!” and “I’m bleeding out from my chest!”
Fischer later called the violence a “very close call with death” in social media posts.
The dogs, named Koji and Gustav, were returned several days later by Jennifer McBride, who was also charged in the crime.
The pop star had offered a $500,000 reward — “no questions asked” — to be reunited with the dogs at the time.
Jackson also admitted the allegation of inflicting great bodily injury and to a prior strike, the DA’s office said Monday. The prosecutor’s office did not immediately say what the prior strike was.
“The plea agreement holds Mr. Jackson accountable for perpetrating a coldhearted violent act and provides justice for our victim,” the office said in a statement. Howard had been charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit a robbery and assault with a semiautomatic firearm.
Jackson was mistakenly released from jail earlier this year due to a clerical error. He was recaptured nearly five months later.
Another accomplice, Harold White, pleaded no contest Monday to a count of ex-convict in possession of a gun. White, who was in a relationship with McBride at the time, will be sentenced next year. McBride’s case is ongoing.
The couple had allegedly tried to help White’s son, Jaylin White, avoid arrest in the aftermath of the shooting.
Jaylin White and Lafayette Whaley earlier this year pleaded no contest to robbery.
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Lady Gaga’s representatives and Fischer did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Associated Press writer Andrew Dalton contributed.