‘I’mma kill him,’ mur­der de­fen­dant ac­cused of killing un­cle says in video

The Mercury News Weekend - - LOCAL NEWS - ByAn­gela Rug­giero arug­[email protected] ba­yare­anews­group.com

OAK­LAND » Mur­der de­fen­dant Tre­vaughn So­ri­ano had his un­cle in a choke­hold, look­ing back at the two women who were pulling at each other’s hair.

‘I’mma kill him, I’mma kill him,” he re­peated, in the video shown to the jury this week.

So­ri­ano, 26, is ac­cused of killing his un­cle, Trevino Thomas, 48, out­side a restau­rant in the 2700 block of 64th Av­enue on May 17, 2017. Dur­ing his trial this week, So­ri­ano tes­ti­fied on his own be­half, and ad­mit­ted to putting his un­cle in a choke­hold and that he told his girl­friend’ s mother to let go of her hair, or he would kill Thomas.

So­ri­ano’s preg­nant girl­friend, D’Onicka Hal, was in a tus­sle with her­mother, Ki­aBlack­sher, whowas dat­ing Thomas, So­ri­ano’s un­cle. The two women were not on good terms, and when Black­sher saw her daugh­ter in the park­ing of the restau­rant mo­ments after the two cou­ple­shad seen each other in­side, there was a con­fronta­tion.

But So­ri­ano claims he tried to break the two woman apart, and then his un­cle at­tacked him frombe­hind.

“I thought I was be­ing at­tacked be­cause I tired to stop an at­tack onmy child’s mother,” So­ri­ano tes­ti­fied.

He main­tains that his No. 1 one con­cern was his girl­friend, who was six months preg­nant and car­ry­ing their un­born son. Hal, who also tes­ti­fied this week, de­nies that she swung at her­mother first or faced off with her, as her­mother had tes­ti­fied ear­lier.

What hap­pened next is not un­der dis­pute: So­ri­ano got on top of Thomas’ back, his 340-pound un­cle ly­ing belly- down on the ground, while So­ri­ano held him in a choke­hold. The con­fronta­tion was caught on cam­era by a dash cam­era of a man who hap­pened to be driv­ing by. It shows So­ri­ano pulling at the man’s neck, at one point switch­ing arms and look­ing back at the two women, say­ing things like, “I’mnot playin,” and “I’mma kill him.”

Prose­cu­torMal­isha Jones, in her clos­ing ar­gu­ments Wed­nes­day, called the at­tack “vi­cious” and “out­ra­geous.” She is asked the jury to re­turn a guilty ver­dict on sec­ond-de­gree mur­der.

“He yanks that man up so hard he goes limp,” Jones said, de­scrib­ing the video.

After get­ting off of his un­cle, So­ri­ano told his girl­friend to record his un­cle on the ground, wiht a cell­phone cam­era. She did. Then, he went to get his food that he had or­dered at the restau­rant.

“He said ‘ I’mma kill him’ and then he did it. That is cold … and then he left him there, his mother’s brother, dead,” Jones said.

So­ri­ano left the scene on foot, but even­tu­ally turned him­self into Oak­land po­lice. He tes­ti­fied that he did go check on his un­cle, and did some chest com­pres­sions on him.

His de­fense at­tor­ney Paul Feuer­w­erker ar­gued in his clos­ing state­ments Thurs­day that there is clearly ev­i­dence of “heat of pas­sion” that would not qual­ify the act as sec­ond- de­gree mur- der. Feuer­w­erker said that if his client had the in­tent to kill­his un­cle, hewould­have fled the scene im­me­di­ately.

“There’s ab­so­lutely noth­ing about his con­duct after that makes this mur­der, as op­posed to man­slaugh­ter,” he said.

He said there was heat of pas­sion, no mal­ice and ev­i­dence to even sup­port im- per­fect self-de­fense be­cause hewas try­ing to pro­tect his girl­friend.

He asked the jury to re­turn a not guilty ver­dict on mur­der, and to “de­cide from there” re­lated to vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter.

The jury was ex­pected to be­gin de­lib­er­a­tions after clos­ing ar­gu­ments on Thurs­day.

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