HAYWARD -- A $5 bet over a game of craps between two former prison cellmates might have cost a 26-year-old Oakland man his life, court documents show.
Ezekiel Justin Taylor was fatally shot April 20 after an evening of gambling in the driveway of a home in Hayward's Jackson Triangle neighborhood, according to a recently released probable cause affidavit.
Michael Soutar, 27, of Hayward is charged with murder in Taylor's death and appeared in court Monday at the Hayward Hall of Justice to be arraigned on a new charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Soutar has been incarcerated since his June 22 arrest on the murder charge, but prosecutors recently slapped him with new charges because he is a felon and allegedly possessed a gun at the time of the crime. Court records show he was convicted of an assault with a deadly weapon charge on Feb. 4, 2005, in Alameda County.
During a preliminary hearing late last month, a judge found enough evidence to send Soutar's case before a jury of his peers. He remained jailed without bond Monday.
Court documents reveal the men were former prison cellmates and that on the night of Taylor's death, they were playing craps and got into an argument over $5.
On the night of Taylor's death, he and Soutar were playing craps in the driveway of a home on Franklin Avenue and began to fight over $5 when Soutar pulled out a gun and shot Taylor in the abdomen, according to the affidavit by Hayward police Officer Julian Cosgriff. After the shot was fired, Taylor fell to the ground, court papers continue, and Soutar reportedly fired two more shots at him, striking him at least once more. He then ran away on foot, the affidavit states.
Police arrived at the scene and Taylor was taken to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley in critical condition to be treated for the gunshot wounds. He died the next day.
Taylor's wife, Amber, who witnessed the shooting, picked out Soutar in a photo lineup, court documents continue. Two days after the shooting, police obtained an arrest warrant for Soutar, known for his distinct tattoos -- he has the word "East" on his right wrist and the word "Bay" on his left wrist.
He was arrested more than two months later -- about 12:15 a.m. on June 22 -- in the parking lot of the Walmart at Hesperian and Lewelling boulevards in San Leandro, police said.
Taylor's death marked Hayward's second homicide of 2013.
According to his obituary, Taylor -- nicknamed "Look the Goon" -- is survived by his wife and a son. He grew up in the Sundale neighborhood of Fremont and loved music and spending time with family and friends.
Anyone with additional information about the case is asked to contact police at 510-293-7000.
Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.