A prosecutor told jurors on Tuesday that two reputed gang members should be convicted of murder for what he said was the revenge shooting in unincorporated Hayward in 2017 of a former gang member who had testified against several of their colleagues.
Alameda County prosecutor Jimmie Wilson said victim Daniel Deltoro, 29, of Hayward "was put on a bad news list and was red-lighted and targeted" because he had testified in 2015 in the trial of Joel Perry Jr., who he said was a member of the Decoto gang.
Perry was convicted of first-degree murder and attempted murder for a shooting at a Union City park in 2008 that left a 28-year-old man dead and another man seriously injured. Two other reputed gang members pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter in that case.
Wilson said the 2008 case "had gone cold" but when Deltoro provided crucial information to Union City police they were able to develop information that helped them put together their case against Perry and three associates.
Wilson alleged that Pablo Mendoza, 27, of Hayward, who he said also belongs to the Decoto gang, never forgave Deltoro for coming forward and recruited Brandon Follings, 28, who he said is a member of the Ice City gang in Oakland, to help him kill Deltoro.
Wilson told jurors, "In the gang culture, you don't testify against a gang member. What comes from that is violence or death."
The prosecutor said that at about 2:45 p.m. on July 19, 2017, Mendoza and Follings, who were in a car driven by 27-year-old Valerie Boden of Alameda, tracked down Deltoro in the 200 block of Willow Avenue in the Cherryland neighborhood of Hayward, where Deltoro was pushing his 3-month-old infant son in a stroller.
Mendoza, who covered part of his face, got out of the car to shoot Deltoro but his gun jammed, according to Wilson. The two men struggled on the ground and Deltoro was able to get on top of Mendoza, Wilson said.
But Follings then got out of the car and shot and killed Deltoro in front of his infant son, Wilson said.
"Daniel Deltoro died not because of a beef with Mendoza and Follings but because he testified against a violent street gang," Wilson told jurors.
Boden is also charged with murder but Wilson said she decided to testify for the prosecution after Follings told her in open court during pretrial hearings that he would harm her daughter if she "snitched" on him.
Wilson and Boden's lawyer have discussed a possible plea deal for Boden but no agreement has been reached so far.
Wilson said he's calling Boden as a witness because "sometimes to find out what criminals do you have to talk to a criminal."
Follings' lawyer Todd Bequette said Follings acted in self-defense when he shot Deltoro because Deltoro had gained control of Mendoza's gun and had pointed it at him.
Bequette also said Boden's testimony "will not be believable" because prosecutors will give her a favorable plea deal if they like her testimony against Follings and Mendoza.
Mendoza's attorney Darryl Stallworth said Mendoza should only be convicted of manslaughter because he was overcome with passion at the time of the shooting and that affected his ability to make the right decision.
Last week Boden was charged with a felony count of possession of an illegal substance in a jail facility because Alameda County sheriff's investigators said a deputy found methamphetamine in her cell at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on March 9.