SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A verdict will be announced Friday in the trial of a gang member accused of fatally shooting a rival more than four years ago in southeast San Diego because the victim had "disrespected" the defendant's gang.
Maurice David Tucker is charged with murder in the slaying of 20-year-old Stephen Cleveland on 65th Street on June 9, 2009. A jury deadlocked 11-1 for guilt in Tucker's first trial last November, when co-defendant Charles Neal was convicted.
Deputy District Attorney Kristian Trocha told jurors that Cleveland and his friends jumped the defendant and his friends at a Lil Wayne concert on April 28, 2007.
Tucker, 23, and his gang were upset because Cleveland's gang had disrupted a community celebration at Martin Luther King Park, the prosecutor alleged.
Tucker and Neal borrowed a green SUV, got dressed in black and decided to go after Cleveland, according to Trocha.
Just before 9 p.m. on June 9. 2007, the green SUV pulled up in front of the victim's home as he was saying goodbye to his girlfriend, the prosecutor said.
Cleveland ran, but a passenger in the SUV got out fired multiple shots at the victim, killing him, Cleveland's girlfriend told police.
After the murder, Tucker talked about killing Cleveland, an informant told police. According to the informant, Tucker said Neal initially confronted the victim but was "taking too long," so Tucker got out and shot Cleveland in the neck.
The victim was actually shot in the upper body.
Defense attorney Wil Rumble told jurors that his client was not at the crime scene and prosecutors didn't have any physical evidence tying Tucker to the murder.
Statements by the victim's girlfriend and the confidential informant were inconsistent and could not be relied upon, the defense attorney said in his opening statement.
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