OAKLAND -- A 20-year-old man was sentenced Friday to 15 years to life in state prison for fatally shooting an 18-year-old former high school football player over a $5 bet in a dice game at a schoolyard in San Leandro last year.
Taheer Randall said in a brief statement in court that, "I apologize" for killing Trevion Foster, who played linebacker at McClymonds High School in Oakland and was trying to make the team at Laney College in Oakland. The killing took place shortly before 9 p.m. Feb. 13, 2013, at Hillside Elementary School at 15980 Marcella St. in San Leandro.
But Foster's family members and friends said at an emotional and closely-guarded hearing in Alameda County Superior Court that they don't understand why Randall killed Foster when Foster refused to pay Randall $5 after losing a dice game.
Jakheima Twime, a friend of Foster's, asked Randall, "Did you think about what you did?"
Twime said, "It's not right, especially over something stupid."
Fighting back tears, Foster's mother, Tara Washington, asked Randall, "How could you do that to him?"
Washington said, "You took away my life when you shot my son and killed him."
Randall pleaded no contest to second-degree murder on May 5.
Prosecutor Adam Maldonado said that after Foster lost the dice game and refused to pay the $5 he owed, Randall went to a friend's house near the school to get a gun, came back to the school grounds and shot Foster.
Maldonado said Foster then "ran for his life" but Randall shot him again on the school's outdoor basketball court and killed him.
Tiana Hill, Foster's girlfriend, said Foster "was a great young man and would have become something better."
Washington said Foster "had everything going for him and I'm proud he was my son."
Tay Foster, Foster's younger brother, said he plans to honor Foster's memory by graduating from college, which he said was one of Foster's dreams.
Foster's father, Tre Foster, said he was upset that Randall and his friends posted photographs of themselves posing with guns on a social media website and "boasting" about the killing.
Foster said, "They don't care about anyone's life."
Foster said many of Randall's friends who had posed with guns were present in court and he thinks they should also face charges for his son's death.
At that point, about six young men left the courtroom, which was guarded by seven bailiffs.
When Judge Trina Thompson sentenced Randall, she said, "I just watched six young men walk out of here, which causes me even more concern."
Referring to the frequency of fatal shooting of young people in Alameda County, Thompson said, "At some point this has to stop."
Thompson advised Tay Foster to "keep your eyes on the prize" by going on to graduate from college and not getting caught up in a cycle of vengeance and violence.
She said it's unfortunate that "death has become a fashion statement in the community."
Copyright © 2014 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, re-transmission or reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.