Man guilty in carjacking, shooting case

March 30, 2009 5:33:16 PM PDT
Behind the doors of an Oakland courtroom, a jury of eight men and four women announced their verdict Monday. They found 26-year-old Jared Adams guilty on 12 counts, ranging from attempted murder to assault with a deadly weapon to carjacking.

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His nearly two week crime spree began in December 2007. It included firing shots during a gas station robbery. One of the bullets penetrated the wall of a music school, paralyzing 10-year-old Christopher Rodriguez as he practiced piano. Rodriguez turns 12-years-old on Wednesday. He and his parents were not in the courtroom Monday, but a family friend asked for a special gift.

"Everyone give up guns and make Oakland a better place for everybody," family friend Alix Sabin said. "I guess they wish that people would follow in Christopher's footsteps rather than in the assailants footsteps."

The defendant could receive 25 years to life in prison. The assistant district attorney will ask for the maximum.

"The senseless violence has to stop but if people engage in that, they will be punished," chief assistant district attorney Nancy O'Malley said. "All the people hurt by this defendant, in his conscious choices will see justice served through the sentence."

Family and friends of the defendant talked but did not want to be identified.

"This was a very unfortunate situation, there's a lot of people got hurt I just hope we can move on," one woman said.

His attorney says Adams is remorseful.

"He's really a nice young man who has a severe drinking problem and made some really poor choices and it's unfortunate that so many lives were touched by the poor choices, including his," Brendon Woods said.

Rodriguez is said to be making good physical progress and is back to playing his favorite sport, basketball, but he now plays in a wheelchair.

One of the counts of carjacking Adams was convicted of involved former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata. Perata testified during the trial. Sentencing will take place May 27.

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