A pimp charged with the 2009 killing of a San Rafael man he mistook for an adversary pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge Thursday.
Michael Marshawn Powell Jr., a 21-year-old Pinole resident, will receive a seven-year sentence under the plea bargain with prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter with a firearm in the 2009 death of Donald Espinoza Ordonez.
Powell also pleaded guilty to pimping a child younger than 16, and will have to register as a sex offender. Two other counts were dismissed in the deal.
Powell, who appeared with Richmond defense attorney Linda Fullerton, could have faced decades in prison under the original charges. He will be sentenced Oct. 18 by Judge Andrew Sweet.
Charges will be dismissed against Powell's codefendant, Nickie Allen Donald Jr. of Richmond. His lawyer, Michael Marowitz, said the key witness was unreliable, the evidence was weak and there was no proof Donald went to San Rafael the night of the homicide.
Donald, 21, remains in custody. He is awaiting trial in another murder case in Contra Costa County.
Espinoza, 22, was gunned down while hanging Christmas decorations outside his new apartment on Larkspur Street, police said. Espinoza, a volunteer at the Canal Alliance, had moved into the apartment earlier that day.
On the night of the shooting, police said, Powell was running teenage prostitutes in the area and got into an unrelated argument with two people outside Espinoza's apartment building. Powell allegedly went home, got a gun, and came back with Donald to hunt down the person he was arguing with.
Espinoza was shot after Powell misidentified him as the person from the argument, police said.
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