OAKLAND -- David "Shulk" Mills should be found guilty of a "heinous" triple-murder based on the testimony of a surviving witness who identified the Oakland resident moments after the killings, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
But, Senior Deputy District Attorney Jim Meehan said other evidence presented during this four-month- long death penalty trial, also proves Mills' guilt, including the fact that the 9 mm handgun used in the killings was found on Mills a day after the shootings and the murders occurred outside Mills' father's home.
"(Those facts), combined with Elizabeth Martinez's testimony, proves the defendant is the shooter," Meehan said. "The shooting was ruthlessly calculated and designed to inflict death on everyone in that car."
Mills is accused of killing James Martin, 28, Dale Griffin, 36, and Rebecca Martinez, 22, as the three sat in a car in front of Mills' father's house in East Oakland seven years ago. Elizabeth Martinez, 26 at the time, survived the attack and immediately identified Mills as the shooter when she ran to a neighbor's house after Mills left the scene.
Mills also killed one pit bull and wounded another in what Meehan described as a "heinous" crime that was conducted with "lethal efficiency."
Mills faces the death penalty if convicted.
Martin was shot three times with one bullet fired at close range to the side of his head, evidence in the case showed. Griffin was shot once in the back of the head
"They were killed by a barrage of bullets fired into their car at close range," Meehan said as he flashed photos of three dead bodies lying in pools of blood in the car. "There is no reason to assume the shooter's intent would have been to spare anyone in that car."
Police and prosecutors might have never figured out what happened had Elizabeth Martinez not survived the shootings. Her survival, Meehan said, was probably the result of her pit bull Hennessy, who was sitting on her lap, taking a bullet to the chest.
After the shooting, Martinez ran from the car to a neighbor's house where she immediately identified Mills as the shooter.
Soon after, Martinez talked to police, identified Mills again and described what had occurred, as she did on the witness stand during the trial.
"Elizabeth Martinez has never waivered, not once, from what she said in the first minutes of the shooting," Meehan said. "Shulk shot us!"
Based on her identification, police located Mills the next day and during his arrest, officers found the handgun used in the shooting in his car, Meehan said.
The Martinez sisters, Griffin and Martin had gone to Mills' father house to meet Mills in what was supposed to be a gun handoff, Elizabeth Martinez said. Mills had taken a gun from Rebecca Martinez's ex-boyfriend and she was trying to get it back, the older sister said.
When they arrived, all crammed into a small four-door car, Mills walked to the back of the car and fired a single shot into the back of Griffin's head, Elizabeth Martinez testified. Mills then methodically worked his way around the car firing 10 bullets in the car, she said.
Mills' attorneys have argued throughout the trial that their client is innocent and was not even at the scene of the murders when they occurred.
Continuing that argument Tuesday, Mills' attorney William Linehan, told the jury that Elizabeth Martinez was an unreliable witness because she was both angry that her sister had been killed and an admitted heroin addict.
"In the end, you have to believe Elizabeth Martinez beyond a reasonable doubt," the attorney said. "She is a person who is a horrendous victim of drug abuse, that disability would render anything she observed as suspect at the very least."
The defense is expected to continue closing arguments Wednesday.