Oakland Man Acquitted Of Most Charges In Fatal Emeryville Area Drug Deal Shooting

Published On April 14, 2019 | By Bay City News Service | Crime & Public Safety, Jurisprudence, News & Commentary

A jury found an Oakland man not guilty of three charges and deadlocked on a fourth in an Alameda County courtroom last Thursday. Cameron Smith, 23, was on trial for the shooting death of a Richmond man and the wounding of another man in a botched drug deal in Emeryville in 2017.

Smith was charged in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Eondre Bolton of Richmond and the wounding of Bolton’s companion Maurice Hanks in the parking lot of the Target store on the Oakland/Emeryville shortly after 6 p.m. on Dec. 4, 2017.

Smith was charged with murder for Bolton’s death, attempted murder for allegedly shooting Hanks, who survived his injuries, and also faced charges of assault with a semiautomatic gun and shooting at an occupied vehicle.

In a courtroom packed with members of Smith’s and Bolton’s families, jurors found Smith not guilty of first-degree murder and second-degree murder on the charge for Bolton’s death, but deadlocked on the lesser included charge of voluntary manslaughter.

The jury foreman told Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon the jury was deadlocked 7-5 on voluntary manslaughter in its last vote on that charge Thursday morning.

The foreman said the jury had been deadlocked 10-2 on that charge on Wednesday but didn’t specify whether the majority was in favor of guilty or not guilty in any of its balloting.


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Reardon declared a mistrial on that charge and ordered Smith, who’s still being held in custody without bail, to return to court on April 25, when prosecutors will announce whether they will prosecute him a second time on the voluntary manslaughter charge.

Jurors found Smith not guilty of attempted murder, assault with a semiautomatic gun and shooting at an occupied vehicle.

Alameda County prosecutor Butch Ford told jurors in his closing argument that Smith should be convicted of first-degree murder and the other charges because he thinks the shooting was “an execution.”

A protective mask and bloody guaze from emergency crews were left behind at the crime scene.

Ford admitted that Bolton and Hanks acted with provocation by trying to steal marijuana from Smith, but said Smith wasn’t in any danger when he fatally shot Bolton.

Ford said Bolton already had been shot multiple times and was fleeing for his life when Smith shot him in the back of his head and killed him.

“When you chase somebody down, that’s first-degree murder,” Ford said.

“When you chase somebody down, that’s first-degree murder,” Ford said.

But Smith’s lawyer Christina Moore said Smith feared for his life and shot Bolton in self-defense only after Bolton shot at him and robbed him of a garbage bag of marijuana.

Moore said Smith arranged to meet Bolton at the parking lot because he thought it would be a safe place, but Smith “didn’t know that he (Bolton) planned to rob him and take his life if necessary.”

After the jury’s verdict, Moore said, “We’re happy” but declined further comment.

Ford left court without commenting.

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6 Responses to Oakland Man Acquitted Of Most Charges In Fatal Emeryville Area Drug Deal Shooting

  1. Anonymous says:

    Unbelievable. Hear that, everybody? It’s perfectly acceptable to chase down and execute someone in a parking lot.

    • Anonymous says:

      …it’s perfectly acceptable to shoot someone who is trying to rob you when they shoot at you first.

      Benefit of the doubt goes to the person being robbed, not the robber.

      Prosecute him again for manslaughter with first degree murder off the table.

      • Anonymous says:

        “Bolton already had been shot multiple times and was fleeing for his life when Smith shot him in the back of his head and killed him.”

        Try again?

      • Anonymous says:

        You conveniently left off the words “Ford said…” from your quote. Ford is the prosecutor. A jury of his peers decided otherwise.

        Try again.

  2. Sixth Amendment says:

    Considering how 99% of criminal cases end in a plea bargain, it’s almost refreshing to see someone with the balls to get up in front of the jury and win.

    Remember, folks: innocent until proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt.

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