Oakland man convicted of 2009 murder


An Alameda County Superior Court jury deliberated for only a day before convicting 27-year-old Harold Carter on Wednesday in connection with the death of 21-year-old Webster Johnson IV in the 1900 block of 90th Avenue on Aug. 27, 2009.

In addition to first-degree murder, jurors convicted Carter, who has two prior felony convictions, of using a firearm to cause death and of being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm.

He faces a term of at least 50 years to life in state prison when he is sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Horner on May 25.

Prosecutor Greg Dolge said the motive for the shooting is unclear but it may have stemmed from a prior disagreement between Johnson and Carter.

Dolge said Johnson and two friends drove to the vicinity of Booker's Market at the corner of 90th Avenue and Olive Street to buy compact discs from a man who was selling them out of his car in that area.

Johnson remained in the right front passenger seat while his two friends got out of the car to buy some CDs, he said.

Carter, who lived in the area, then walked by, noticed Johnson and told a companion, "I can't believe that guy is sitting here," according to Dolge.

The prosecutor said Carter's statement indicates that he knew Johnson and might have had a prior encounter with him.

Carter then "unloaded" at least seven gunshots at Johnson from behind, causing 20 entrance and exit gunshot wounds on Johnson, Dolge said. Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene.

Dolge said the fact that Carter shot Johnson in broad daylight in front of multiple witnesses near the only commercial establishment in the area indicates that Carter was confident that no one would report him to police.

Dolge said many witnesses refused to identify Carter as the shooter when they came to court. However, they provided statements to police saying that he was the culprit and those statements were introduced as evidence in his trial.

Carter's attorney, David Byron, declined to comment on the verdict today.

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