OAKLAND -- Chantelle Britton couldn't even finish spelling her name from the witness stand Tuesday afternoon before she burst into tears as her half-brother bowed his head from the defense table.
Britton, dressed in a red jail jumpsuit after being arrested to ensure she would appear in court, took the stand to tell a jury about how a phone call she made to her half-brother, Donald Tremayne Britton, on June 4, 2011, led to the killing of her neighbor, Leo Dunson.
Donald Britton, 38, is charged with murder in the case for carrying out what a prosecutor said was a calculated assassination sparked by Chantelle Britton's frustration with Dunson.
It was a frustration that began about a year before when Dunson told Chantelle Britton that he wanted to "get to know her" and one that intensified as Dunson, 50, began to stalk Chantelle Britton, 29.
Dunson would frequently appear on Chantelle Britton's porch uninvited, peer through her bedroom window and follow her in his car as she drove from her home at 2900 High St., she said.
Repeated requests by her for Dunson to stop were ignored as was a request from her boyfriend who ended up joking around with Dunson after he confronted the neighbor months before Dunson was killed, Chantelle Britton testified.
"I was uncomfortable, I was scared to be alone at my house," Chantelle Britton said about the stalking. "I called the police on him several times but they said unless he touches me, they couldn't do anything."
On June 4, 2011, Chantelle Britton had reached a new level of frustration after she noticed Dunson had followed her the night before.
After waking up in the late morning after spending the night drinking with friends, Chantelle Britton called her brother and asked him to come over and speak with Dunson.
About the same time, she said, one of her friends told her that they had slashed the tires on Dunson's pickup truck and car in revenge for his stalking activities.
Nevertheless, Chantelle Britton said, she still wanted her brother to talk with Dunson but nothing more. She said she didn't ask Donald Britton to harm Dunson, and she said she had no idea her brother had a gun.
When Donald Britton arrived, Chantelle Britton said, she met him on the sidewalk and pointed out Dunson, who was standing outside his apartment next door to her house.
"He gave me a hug and he said it was going to be OK," Chantelle Britton said, describing the conversation she had with her brother.
As Donald Britton walked toward Dunson, Chantelle Britton said she walked inside her home. Ten seconds later, she said, she heard gunshots.
"After I closed the door, I heard the gunshots," Chantelle Britton said as she began to cry. "I feel guilty. I do feel like it's my fault because I asked (my brother) to talk to (Dunson)."
Deputy District Attorney Stacie Pettigrew told the jury she will prove that Donald Britton planned the killing of Dunson and should be convicted of murder.
Pettigrew said she will prove Donald Britton purposely disguised himself before approaching Dunson and that he drastically altered his appearance after the shooting by shaving dreadlocks he had for more than a decade.
Evidence presented during the trial will also prove that Donald Britton began firing his handgun at Dunson before a conversation ever began and that he attempted to have witnesses make false statements to police while he was locked in jail, Pettigrew said.
Donald Britton's attorney, Assistant public defender Kathleen Guneratne, however, said the evidence will prove that the shooting was made in self-defense as her client and Dunson wrestled and threw punches at each other.