Man convicted of 2008 North Beach murder


Charles Heard, 25, of San Francisco, now faces a life sentence in prison for the killing of 29-year-old Richard Barrett outside a North Beach nightclub at about 1 a.m. on Nov. 25, 2008.

The San Francisco Superior Court jury also convicted Heard of attempted robbery but hung on a gun possession charge.

According to police and prosecutors, Heard and another man were trying to steal Barrett's necklace, and when Barrett resisted and ran, he was shot twice in the back. He collapsed and died inside the nearby Fuse bar. A friend collected the pendant and returned it to Barrett's family.

Heard was arrested in July 2009.

Prosecutors had argued that Heard was the shooter, but the jury today found allegations that Heard personally used a firearm to commit the murder and the attempted robbery not true, indicating they agreed Heard was one of the two robbers but not necessarily the shooter.

Under the state's felony-murder rule, a defendant can be convicted of murder if he participates in a violent crime, such as robbery, that leads to a death.

A separate trial on a charge that Heard is a gang member is scheduled to begin before the same jury today.

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