Oakland Teen Faces Life in Prison for Murder

Casey Turner was 15 when he killed 18-year-old James Allen


An 18-year-old Oakland youth will likely face a sentence of life in state prison after being convicted of one count of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder for a shooting three years ago that left one teen dead and two others wounded.

An Alameda County Superior Court jury delivered its verdict against Casey Turner late Wednesday after deliberating for two days about an incident in which prosecutor Butch Ford said Turner, who was only 15 years old at the time, opened fire at a group of other teens at an apartment building at 2124 90th Ave. at about 1:45 p.m. on March 27, 2010.

James Allen, 18, was killed, and two other teens were injured in the shooting, which Ford said stemmed from a fight over a girl.

Turner's attorney, Darryl Billups, told jurors in his closing argument on Monday that Turner should be found not guilty because there was insufficient evidence to prove that he was at the scene and was the shooter.

Billups said that even if jurors believed that Turner was in fact the shooter, there is evidence that he acted in self-defense because Allen and his friends went looking for him.

"They went to (Turner) -- he didn't go to them," Billups said.

He said that if Turner opened fire after Allen and the others came up on him, "that isn't murder."

But Ford said there is no evidence to support Billups' contention that Turner acted in self-defense.

He said Allen and his friends were going to 88th Avenue and Hillside Street "to talk to girls" but that Turner happened to see them and started the confrontation by shooting at them as they emerged from a narrow corridor near an apartment building at 2124 90th Ave.

Ford said it was like "shooting fish in a barrel" because Allen and his friends were in a confined area.

The prosecutor said Turner fired eight shots, killing Allen and wounding two others.

Ford said Allen was also carrying a gun and shot back at Turner, but didn't hit him.

Ford admitted that Allen "intended to have some type of confrontation with Turner" because there was bad blood between the two teens when they saw each other the previous day, but he said Allen wasn't planning to confront Turner at that particular time.

He said a witness who saw the teenagers firing guns at each other commented sadly afterward that it was like "kids playing with toys."

Ford said that when Turner is sentenced by Judge Vernon Nakahara on May 10, he will face 40 years to life for his second-degree murder conviction and using a gun to kill Allen, plus up to 25 years to life for each of his attempted murder convictions.

Billups couldn't be reached for comment today.

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