MARTINEZ -- A Contra Costa County jury on Wednesday found a Pittsburg woman guilty of first-degree murder and robbery in the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old San Francisco man at Pittsburg's Marina Walk Park.
Kiarra Price, 24, is expected to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Dec. 16 for the Nov. 3, 2009, slaying of Benjamin Merrill. The jury found true a special allegation that murder was committed in the course of a robbery but dismissed Price's charge enhancements for gun use.
Merrill had just met Price and her girlfriend Teareney Brown and was intoxicated in San Francisco's Mission neighborhood when he accepted an invitation to party with them. They drove him to the park in Pittsburg before picking up their friend Kendra Fells and her gun.
The prosecution argued at trial that Price shot Merrill dead after the group robbed him of his iPhone and pocket cash. Price's attorney argued that Fells was the shooter.
Fells, 25, took a plea deal in the case and is serving a 15-year sentence. Brown, 24, is awaiting trial.
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.