Prosecutor says '06 shooting was murder

August 3, 2009 3:47:21 PM PDT
A prosecutor told jurors today that the shooting death of Tabari Robinson at the hands of Elliot Roberts three years ago was murder, not self defense.

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Roberts, 22, admitted on the witness stand last week that he shot and killed Robinson, 23, at the corner of Ninth and Wood streets in Oakland on Aug. 17, 2006, but he said he acted in self-defense. But in her closing argument in the trial of Roberts and his father, 47-year-old Alfred Roberts, Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Joni Leventis said, "The only person who had a right to self-defense was Tabari Robinson, not Elliot Roberts." Leventis said Elliott Roberts and his father had driven to Robinson's grandmother's house to confront Robinson at gunpoint after Robinson took some money from Elliott Roberts. The prosecutor said Robinson "definitely made a fatal mistake by taking that money." Leventis said some of the money Robinson took from Roberts was owed to him "but he shouldn't have taken all of it." "Tabari was a bully, but he didn't deserve to be gunned down like this," Leventis said. Elliott Roberts unloaded 19 bullets into Robinson's body in what Leventis called "a total ambush." Alfred Roberts is also charged with murder because he's accused of driving his son to home and knowing that his son planned to gun down Robinson. Leventis said Elliot Roberts "secreted himself in the back seat of his father's van so he wouldn't be seen when they made their approach." Defense attorneys for the Roberts will present their closing arguments later today.

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