Alameda County Sheriff's say Hayward murder was for hire

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KGO) -- The Alameda County Sheriff's Office says a murder that occurred in July of 2015 in Hayward was for hire.

Investigators honed in on the victim, a 38-year-old man who they say had ties to the marijuana business and had ties to a former business associate who deputies say wanted him out of the picture.

Deputies called the Hayward homicide an ambush. Someone shot and killed Adan Katani as he was driving his red pickup truck.

"Our first officers on the scene had to put the car in park just to make it safe," said Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies arrested Johnny Wright and Chariott Burks of Tennessee. They said the attack was targeted, almost like they knew his route, his lifestyle and his daily operations.

They weren't sure why a couple from Tennessee would want to hurt a California man.

ABC7 News noticed a connection between him and a woman named Tikisha Upshaw, who Alameda County Sheriff's say also goes by the name Tikisha Ong.

In In March, ABC7 News met Upshaw at a Women Grow event where she described herself as a cannabis entrepreneur. "I think it is a great concept for women to get together," she said.

Deputies say Upshaw was in business with Katani and they had a falling out.

Wessley Brown is also facing murder charges. Sheriff's say Brown was instrumental in organizing and getting the hit team out to California.

When deputies arrested Upshaw, they say they found a sophisticated and illegal marijuana grow in her home. To this day, they haven't found the gun used to kill Katani.

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