Adhem Abdulla, 23, had pushed the girlfriend of Willie Turner, 46, out of his Oakland Discount store after he witnessed her stealing bologna for the third time that day. Turner then approached Abdulla and allegedly punched him in the mouth. In response, Abdulla shot him in the back of the head as he was leaving the store.
Though he does not deny killing Turner, Abdulla claims that he could not recall his actions before and while shooting turner because he was furious after being struck.
His attorney claims that his rage was sparked by working in a dangerous neighborhood, and having to deal with gun violence and drug dealing regularly. Oakland Discount is located at 7645 MacArthur Blvd. This area of East Oakland is known for its frequent killings, and is located near the place where four Oakland police officers were killed in 2009. Abdulla’s attorney, William DuBois, hoped that the rage argument would land his client with voluntary manslaughter and 21 years in prison.
Deputy district attorney Carrie Skolnick pointed to evidence that Abdulla had plenty of time to decide whether his actions were correct or not. He had gotten his gun out, pushed through two customers who were trying to keep him from shooting Turner, walk 25 feet from the store’s entrance, and then shoot the victim in the back of the head.
Further evidence revealed that Abdulla went out of his way to make it look as though his store had been robbed. He had knocked over shelves and called 911, telling the dispatcher that he had shot a man to protect himself and his store during the robbery.
Skolnick was aiming for a first-degree murder conviction, which would mean 40 years to life for the store owner.
The jury didn’t appear to accept the “crime of passion” argument, but decided on second- as opposed to first-degree murder, because the shooting wasn’t planned or premeditated.