Man convicted of manslaughter for killing girlfriend

July 19, 2011 1:54:07 PM PDT
A 23-year-old Oakland man has been convicted of voluntary manslaughter for fatally shooting his girlfriend two years ago after she broke up with him and returned the ring he had given her.

Prosecutors had sought a murder conviction for Jesse James Blue for the death of 18-year-old Ayesha Thomason on June 16, 2009, but after deliberating for nearly four full days jurors decided late Monday to convict him of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter instead.

Jurors also convicted Blue of using a gun, specifically a Glock pistol, to kill Thomason at her home in the 9800 block of C Street in Oakland.

Blue would have faced a state prison term of 50 years to life if he had been convicted of first-degree murder and using a gun, but instead he faces a maximum term of 21 years when he is sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Allan Hymer on Aug. 26.

Prosecutors said Thomason had spent the night before her death with Blue at his home, but in the morning she broke up with him and returned a ring to him.

Oakland police said Blue admitted to investigators that he went to Thomason's house because he was angry about the breakup.

Prosecutor Danielle London told jurors in her closing argument last week that Blue "had a history of anger" toward Thomason and that there was "a pattern of abuse."

London said Blue became upset with Thomason after he found out she had been with another man, and would sit and watch her almost every day at her job at a McDonalds restaurant.

London said Thomason "didn't like the jealousy" on Blue's part and was unhappy that Blue "criticized her for being too friendly or flirtatious with male customers."

The prosecutor said Blue should be convicted of murder because "the only reasonable inference from the evidence is that he purposely shot her in the head, causing her to die."

Blue's attorney, Youseef Elias, couldn't be reached for comment today.

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