OAKLAND -- A man already being prosecuted in a February fatal shooting near Highland Hospital has been charged in a second killing that happened in January in the same area, authorities said Thursday.
Harold T. Smith III, 22, of Oakland, was charged May 14 with special circumstance murder, robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon in the Jan. 16 fatal shooting and robbery of Brandon Clemons, 24, in the 2000 block of 14th Avenue and the robbery of Clemons' friend. The special circumstance is that the murder occurred during a robbery.
Sgt. Mike Gantt said Smith refused to talk about the killing.
Clemons and his 25-year-old friend were walking home about 11:55 p.m. Jan. 15 when police said they were confronted by Smith and another man. Clemons was robbed of his backpack and his friend of his wallet and cellphone before Clemons was shot by Smith, police said. He died early on Jan. 16.
The second robber is still being sought. Gantt said Smith did not know Clemons or the other man.
Gantt said of Smith: "To take two lives in less than a month shows he has a blatant disregard for human life."
In court documents, Gantt said the gun used to kill Clemons was the same one used to kill a man and wound another Feb. 22 in the 2400 block of 14th Avenue.
Gantt also stated in the documents a witness to the Clemons' shooting identified Smith as the gunman and that phone records obtained showed Smith's cellphone activated on phone towers in the area of the Clemons shooting minutes before and after the shooting.
Smith was arrested April 1 and charged with murder, attempted murder and unlawful firearm activity in the Feb. 22 shooting that left Innocent Okoronkwo Jr., 24, of Oakland, dead and his 26-year-old friend wounded.
That shooting resulted from a dispute over something stolen at a social gathering the three men attended earlier, police said. Smith has denied being the gunman in that case and claimed he was not in Oakland when the shooting happened. Smith is being held without bail and is scheduled to enter a plea June 2.