Convicted murderer gets life in prison

November 30, 2010 4:04:16 PM PST
The emotional pain caused by a fatal shooting on the streets of West Oakland last year was displayed at a dramatic hearing today at which the shooter was sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Dajuan Flemming, 20, of Richmond, was convicted last month of first-degree murder plus the special circumstance of committing a murder during a drive-by shooting for killing 24-year-old Giovanna Warren in the 3200 block of San Pablo Avenue at about 4:30 p.m. on March 27, 2009.

Flemming was also convicted of premeditated and deliberate attempted murder for shooting and seriously injuring Warren's friend, Decontee Bility.

Prosecutor Tim Wellman said Warren was an innocent victim and Flemming killed her in a mistaken act of revenge.

At a hearing packed with family members and friends of both Warren and Flemming and guarded by five bailiffs, Warren's mother, Karen Goitre, sobbed and said, "I loved my daughter so much and I wish she was still here. I can't believe she's dead."

"I want my daughter back!" she shouted, and at one point became so distraught that she dropped to the floor and lay writhing on the ground.

Warren's sister, Tameka Goitre, told Flemming, "I know you have no heart - I know you're like this little monster" and criticized him for smiling and laughing at Warren's family members.

"You laugh and crack up and smile but my family is broken," she said.

But Flemming's mother, Charise Flemming who also sobbed repeatedly, said, "He might be smiling, but I know that inside he's hurting."

Flemming said her son "has a very high sense of humor" and "is the goofy one in the family" and smiling is his way of dealing with what he did and the prospect of spending the rest of his life behind bars.

Saying that she was speaking on her son's behalf, Flemming said he told her, "I'm not laughing, I'm hurt."

"I hate that he's done what he's done...I'm so sorry that Giovanna's family had to go through this," she said.

Turning to Warren's family, Flemming's mother said, "I don't know you but I love you."

Wellman told jurors during the trial that Dajuan Flemming fired seven shots at Warren's car in "a mission of revenge to try to kill everyone in her car," including her 7-year-old son.

He said that two days earlier, at about 11:50 p.m. on March 25, 2009, Flemming had been hanging out with friends and relatives in the 700 block of Sycamore Street in Oakland when a passenger in a red Ford Mustang opened fire. Three of Flemming's friends were injured but Flemming was unharmed.

Wellman said Flemming was again on Sycamore Street with two friends on March 27, 2009, when a red Ford Mustang drove by.

The prosecutor said Flemming thought it was the same car, so he and his friends got in a Dodge truck and drove around West Oakland to try to find the Mustang.

Warren and Bility "were enjoying their Friday afternoon" and along the way they picked up Warren's son at his school, he said.

The truck caught up with the Mustang near the intersection of Brockhurst Street and San Pablo Avenue, and Flemming opened fire from a backseat window, according to Wellman.

Flemming told police that he shot at Warren's car in self-defense because he was afraid he would get shot first.

But Wellman said the jurors rejected self-defense as evidenced by their quick verdict against Flemming after only four hours of deliberations. Bility said she was in a coma for five days after she was shot and said, "I can't do anything with my life anymore."

Bility told Flemming, "You really deserve to be dead - you deserve the death penalty."

But Charise Flemming said, "Revenge is no good. Us hating each other - what good is that going to do?"


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