Defense: Oakland Man “Flipped Out” When Victim Suggestively Touched Him

Trial continues in Bruce Shaw murder case

A defense attorney told jurors today that Bruce Shaw shot and killed 27-year-old Sirron Croskey near an Oakland park in the early morning hours of April 6, 2006, because Shaw "flipped out" after Croskey touched Shaw in what he thought was a sexually suggestive way.

In her closing argument in Shaw's trial in Alameda County Superior Court, defense attorney Andrea Auer said Shaw, 25, had been sexually molested when he was only 3 years old and didn't like it when Croskey repeatedly touched him at the end of a long night in which the two men and some acquaintances had been drinking, taking drugs and planning robberies.

Auer said Shaw's history caused him to react violently, saying, "We wouldn't be here if Bruce hadn't been badly sexually abused as a kid."

The defense attorney said that because Shaw was provoked, she thinks he should only be convicted of manslaughter, not murder.

However, prosecutor Joni Leventis told jurors she thinks that Shaw should be convicted of first-degree murder because he planned to kill Croskey and had time to reflect before he pulled the trigger.

Jurors will begin deliberating Shaw's fate late Thursday.

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