Click photo to enlarge
Osana Futi, left, plays in a game between Newark Memorial and James Logan on Nov. 4, 2011.

OAKLAND -- High school football star Osana Futi lay on a sidewalk, bleeding from a stab wound and fighting for his life while his assailant taunted him, Futi's former girlfriend testified in court Wednesday.

Alexandra Reed took the stand in the trial of Abraham Hade, a 19-year-old Fremont man who is charged with murder with a gang enhancement in the April 28 stabbing death of Futi, a star linebacker at Newark Memorial High School.

Hade, who has pleaded not guilty, sat next to his attorney, Thomas Knutsen, and occasionally took notes in a yellow notepad during the trial proceedings.

In her testimony, Reed said Futi had gotten into a fight about 11 p.m. at a party in a home near Hyde Park and Yellowstone Park drives in Fremont. She said she, Futi and his friend, Jesse Tate, had left the party and were walking along Hyde Park Drive when they were confronted by two men.

"Oh, you think you're tough? You think you're bad?" one of the men said to Futi as they walked, Reed testified.

When one assailant threw a punch, Futi ducked and hit the man, knocking him down, she said. Futi then stood over the second man, who had fallen, but Futi stopped suddenly when he realized he had been stabbed in the thigh.

"I was a little panicked because I saw a lot of blood and could tell it was serious," said Reed, 19. "I sat him down on the sidewalk and called 911."


Advertisement

As they waited for paramedics, Reed said a man holding a foot-long knife taunted Futi, saying he got what he deserved.

When deputy district attorney Elgin Lowe asked Reed if the man holding the knife was in the courtroom, Reed said yes and pointed toward Hade. The prosecutor then showed Reed a large knife, which she identified as the same weapon that Hade held that night. Lowe also showed the jury photos of the blood-splattered street where the killing occurred.

Futi was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:20 a.m., about two hours after the stabbing. It was one of Fremont's two homicides in 2012.

Lowe asked Reed if the altercation was one of many that had occurred in recent years between Newark Memorial High football players and a local Norteno gang. Police and prosecutors say Hade is a member of the gang.

"They have had problems (between the team and the gang members) long before I started school there," Reed said.

Reed, who graduated from Newark Memorial High last June, testified that she did not witness the actual stabbing. When pressed by Knutsen during cross-examination, she replied that she did not know whether the man accompanying Hade might have been carrying the knife.

Reed and Futi had dated and even talked of marrying one day, she said, adding that, at the time of the stabbing, they were no longer a couple but remained "best friends."

Police arrested Hade, who answers to the nickname "Memphis," at a Fremont home the day after the party, Officer Mandeep Singh testified Wednesday.

Hade is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. The trial resumes Thursday morning at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse, with Superior Court Judge Larry J. Goodman presiding.

Futi's slaying was the second involving a Newark Memorial High football player within 18 months. Justice Afoa, a close friend of Futi's, was stabbed to death at a Newark bus stop in December 2010. Both teens were from American Samoa. Three months later, Newark school board members voted to expel Futi from school on allegations he had threatened a student who had mocked the death of 17-year-old Afoa.

The expulsion was rescinded in May 2011, and Futi returned to the school, where he starred as a linebacker and was named the Mission Valley Athletic League's Defensive Player of the Year.

Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-353-7011. Follow him at Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.