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Jury Convicts Oakland Activist Again Of 2nd Degree Murder For 2016 Shooting

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- For a second time, a jury found a criminal justice reform activist guilty of second degree murder last week for shooting a man back in 2016.

The jury convicted 27-year-old Deangelo Cortijo last Tuesday of fatally shooting Oakland resident Jamad Jerkins, then 26, back in October of 2016. Another jury convicted Cortijo of the same crime back in 2018, but an appeals judge overruled it last year.

The shooting occurred on the night of Oct. 24, 2016. According to the Alameda County District Attorney's office, Cortijo knew Jerkins, who was dating Cortijo's sister. The shooting occurred after Jerkins went to Cortijo's house to stay the night with his sister, while Jerkins waited outside for a ride after no one answered the door.

"As Jerkins' ride arrived, he began walking out to the street. As he walked through the parking lot, Cortijo saw him. He immediately walked directly to Jerkins, and began yelling commands. He then pulled out a loaded revolver and pointed it at the victim's head," the Alameda County DA's office said in a statement. "Jerkins was visibly scared, and said something to the effect of "come on brah," and used one hand to push the revolver downwards. Shortly after, the firearm was discharged, striking Jerkins in the abdomen."

READ MORE: Criminal Justice Reform Advocate Says He Didn't Intend To Kill

Cortijo reportedly declined to help Jerkins, whose ride took him to the hospital to be treated for his injuries. Jerkins died the next day.

Police later arrested Cortijo, and he was charged both second degree murder and kidnapping. A jury found him innocent of kidnapping but did convict him of second degree murder. In March of 2020, a three-judge panel on the appeals court overturned the conviction on grounds that hearsay testimony from Jerkins's girlfriend had tainted the trial.

During the second trial for the shooting back in April, Cortijo defended himself. Found guilty, Cortijo faces a sentence of 15 years in prison. A sentencing has not been set as of press time.

Before his arrest, Cortijo was the youth representative for the National Center for Youth Law.

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