MARTINEZ -- Jury deliberations began Wednesday at the trial for a Pittsburg woman charged with murder and robbery in the 2009 slaying of a 22-year-old San Francisco man whom she and her girlfriend picked up with an invitation to party.

Kiarra Price, 24, fatally shot Benjamin Merrill at Pittsburg's Marina Walk Park on Nov. 3, 2009, after robbing him of his iPhone and pocket cash, said prosecutor John Cope. He is seeking a first-degree murder verdict punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Defense attorney Tracee Clark asked jurors for an acquittal for Price. She said Merrill was shot by 25-year-old Kendra Fells, Price's former friend who took a plea deal in the case and testified against Price in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence.

Price's girlfriend, 24-year-old Teareney Brown, is awaiting trial in the case.

Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.



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