Man gets 82 years to life for killing friend in 2012

Bay City News
Monday, April 13, 2015

OAKLAND, Calif. -- A truck driver was sentenced Monday to 82 years to life in state prison for fatally shooting a friend near San Antonio Park in East Oakland in 2012.

Steven Buggs, 39, was convicted on Feb. 9 of first-degree murder for the fatal shooting of 34-year-old Lester Young inside Young's home in the 1800 block of Commerce Way at about 6:45 p.m. on Sept. 21, 2012.

Jurors also convicted Buggs of causing Young's death by discharging a firearm, a finding that added 25 years to the state prison term of 25 years to life he received for first-degree murder.

Buggs's sentence was increased by an additional 32 years because he has prior convictions for attempted murder and being a felon in possession of a gun.

Young, who worked as a church handyman, was shot multiple times. Oakland police said at the time that the shooting may have occurred because of a dispute over a woman, but prosecutors said a motive was never firmly established.

Prosecutors said the shooting was senseless because Buggs and Young were friends.

Buggs' attorney Mark McGoldrick had told jurors that he should be acquitted because witnesses misidentified Buggs as the killer.

Young's mother, Deborah Young, said today that she doesn't understand why Buggs killed her son.

Young said she's upset that she'll never be able to wish her son "Happy birthday" or "Merry Christmas" anymore but because of her religion she's decided to forgive Buggs.