A jury convicted a gang member of murder Thursday for gunning down two young men in separate incidents in 2016.
Police found White shot in the upper body just after midnight on June 29, 2016, near 17th Street and Island Avenue. He was targeted while sitting in the backseat of a parked car and died at the scene.
Davis was killed on Aug. 2, 2016, when either Prescott, a second unidentified man, or both, opened fire on a group of people near the intersection of 61st and Alderley streets about 5:40 p.m., striking Davis and Avery Ealy, then 25, who survived, according to testimony.
Jurors acquitted Prescott of the attempted murder of Ealy, along with a count of assault with a semi-automatic firearm.
Deputy District Attorney John Dunlap alleged that gang-related motivations were behind both killings.
The prosecutor said White was part of a gang allied with Prescott’s. A member of White’s gang killed a member of Prescott’s, triggering the victim’s “execution-style” murder, the prosecutor said.
Dunlap said that as White exited a tattoo shop and got into a car, Prescott opened a back seat door of the vehicle and shot him, then fled.
Prescott’s DNA was discovered on a utility box across the street from the tattoo shop, according to the prosecutor, who said he leaned against the box as he waited for White to exit the business. Dunlap also said that a palm print linked to Prescott was found on the car’s rear door.
Defense attorney Danaly Barajas said White and Prescott were close friends, and that he mourned White’s death. She also argued that the killing was not actually gang-related, disproving the prosecution’s theory.
“There is no motive to support why Deshaun Prescott would want to kill his friend,” Barajas told the jury in her opening statement.
In Davis’ killing, Dunlap said that Prescott and another man, who remains unidentified and at large, fired upon a group of people because it was rival gang territory. Dunlap said someone fired back at the shooters, resulting in Prescott being struck in the foot.
Prescott left a blood trail, which police used to connect his DNA to the shooting scene. He showed up at an area hospital the following day.
Surveillance video and photographs show figures at both scenes that appear to match Prescott, according to Dunlap.
But Barajas said that no gun can be seen in Prescott’s hands, if it is indeed Prescott in the footage. She also said he was in the O’Farrell neighborhood that day to visit a longtime friend when the shooting broke out.
Barajas cautioned the jury to not readily accept the DNA evidence as gospel, as that kind of evidence “is not as black and white as (the prosecution) would like you to believe.”
Prescott was arrested Aug. 21, 2016, on a probation violation, and booked for Davis’ murder about a week later. The criminal complaint was amended about six months later to include a murder charge in connection with White’s killing.
– City News Service
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