SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man who gunned down a Skyline market owner during a 1996 robbery was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder and other charges.
Charzel Shears, now 36, sighed and slumped back in his chair as jurors found him guilty of killing 65-year-old Sleiman "Pops" Hallak on April 17, 1996. The jury found true a special circumstance allegation that the murder of Hallak occurred during a robbery.
Shears was also convicted of two counts of premeditated attempted murder for firing at a cigar salesman and a clerk that day. The defendant will be sentenced on Dec. 18 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Hallak had owned Moonlite Market for more than 20 years. He was working the counter about 10:30 a.m., waiting on the cigar salesman, when Shears entered the market and demanded money. When Hallak didn't responded fast enough, the masked gunman shot him to death before firing at the other victims.
Shears was charged in 1996 with committing a robbery two days after the Skyline heist, but prosecutors didn't have enough evidence to charge him with Hallak's murder.
Shears made admissions to a person he met in 1996, and later told others about his involvement in the murder, resulting in his arrest in August 2012, said Deputy District Attorney David Bost.
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