OAKLAND -- Laron Logwood will spend at least 40 years in prison after a jury found the 36-year-old guilty of murder for killing a drug dealer during an argument over who was allowed to loiter in front of an East Oakland liquor store.
Rejecting Logwood's claims that he killed Edwin Grady, 25, on July, 16, 2009, in self-defense, a jury of seven men and five women found the Oakland native guilty of second-degree murder and a gun enhancement.
While the second-degree murder conviction guarantees Logwood will have at least a decade in prison, the firearm enhancement verdict ensures he will not be released from prison until he is at least 72 years old.
The jury's verdict was based primarily on a video recording from a security camera that captured the killing and testimony from Logwood who said he killed Grady because he feared for his life and the life of friends and family who were at the liquor store.
Logwood said he believed Grady had a gun and said just before he shot the marijuana dealer, Grady was making threats because too many people were loitering in his drug-selling spot.
In trying to convince the jury of his fear, Logwood recounted his past, which included being involved in numerous shootings. His attorney then argued that Logwood's violent history made him fear for his life on a daily basis as he walked the streets of Oakland.
But Grady was never found with a gun and the video recording of the incident did not show clearly whether or not Grady was carrying a gun when he was killed. Instead, the recording showed Logwood turning away from Grady during a verbal exchange, pulling out a gun and then turning back and firing at Grady's chest at point-blank range.
In finding Logwood guilty of second-degree murder instead of first-degree murder, the jury appears to have reasoned that Logwood did not act in self-defense but also did not premeditate, or plan or think, about the killing.
"I'm pleased with the jury's verdict and pleased that the jury saw through the defendant's contrived self-defense claim," said Deputy district attorney Tim Wellman. "The victim's family came seeking justice, and by the jury's verdict, justice was done."
William DuBois, Logwood's defense attorney, said that while he disagreed with the jury's verdict, he understands the panel's reasoning.
"I thought it should have been a manslaughter verdict," DuBois said. "But having talked to the jury, I can understand how they reached their conclusion."
Logwood will be sentenced Feb. 13 by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson.