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Man Convicted Of Murdering Sole Witness To His Grand Theft Case

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- An Oakland jury found a Redwood City man guilty of murder on Wednesday for killing the sole witness in a grand theft case against him more than a decade ago, according to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

Larry Fuller, 46, was convicted of the murder of Samy Sanjay outside his home in the in the 2900 block of Haddington Court in Brentwood on Oct. 26, 2004.

Sanjay, the manager of a Castro Valley tire shop, was found by his wife lying in a pool of blood in the end of his driveway at about 6 a.m. His wife heard shouting and then gunshots. He had been shot four times in the head.

Sanjay had seen Fuller speed off from his tire shop using a spare key without paying his $2,700 repair bill in late 2003. Fuller was facing grand theft charges and Sanjay was scheduled to testify against him the day after he was killed.

Investigators long suspected Fuller for the murder, but didn't feel they had gathered enough evidence to convict him until last year, when he was arrested in January and charged with murder.

Even then, prosecutor Stacie Pettigrew acknowledged during the trial the evidence against Fuller was circumstantial, but said it was enough to find him guilty, including finding him with printed directions to Sanjay's
home and cellphone records that placed him there on the morning of the murder.

The jury agreed. Fuller was convicted of first-degree murder with the intention of killing a witness to prevent testimony as well as illegally possessing a firearm.

"While we cannot undo the tragedy of Samy Sanjay's murder, we do hope that this verdict brings his family and loved-ones a sense that justice has been served on his behalf," Pettigrew said in a statement Thursday.

But Fuller's attorney, Jane Brown, accused investigators during the trial of fixating on Fuller despite there being other potential suspects in the case.

She said they couldn't find any direct evidence for a decade but continued to try and implicate Fuller, who was close to a plea deal with prosecutors that wouldn't require serving any additional jail time.

Fuller is scheduled to be sentenced on May 25.

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