Two Sacramento Superior Court juries have found three defendants guilty of murder in the March 17, 2010, shooting death of Marque Alexander Johnson while he was walking to a bus stop in south Sacramento to go to school.
One of the juries came back today with a first-degree murder verdict against Robert Maurice Hunt, 20, and a second-degree conviction against Khalief Raheem Taylor, 19. The panel concluded that Hunt was the shooter in the killing of the 17-year-old Johnson.
On Tuesday, another jury found a third defendant, Marquice Devon Wallace, 20, guilty of first-degree murder. The panel also convicted Wallace of arson for setting fire to a street memorial put together by friends and relatives of Johnson at the site of his killing on Summersdale Avenue just south of Mack Road.
The separate juries agreed to special-circumstance allegations against all three defendants that the killing took place as a result of their involvement in the Starz Up street gang. The finding will qualify Hunt and Wallace for life terms in prison with no chance of parole.
Judge Russell L. Hom scheduled their sentencings for March 23.
Police and prosecutors said the killing took place as an outgrowth of the Starz Up gang's running battle with their rivals in another gang called Gunz Up. According to evidence in the case, Hunt, Taylor and Wallace had attended an annual memorial on March 15 -- known as "Jack Day" -- for a reputed Starz Up member, Jack LawrenceWallace, who was slain on that date in 2006.
After the memorial at the site where Wallace was killed at Eric's Donuts on Mack Road, the defendants went to a Taco Bell on Mack Road where they came across a couple of rival gang members who were eating with Johnson, a friend of theirs who was not affiliated with street gangs, according to his family.
Two days later, Hunt, Taylor and Wallace met up again at Eric's Donuts early in the morning and headed over to a friend's house at the Aspen Park Apartments on Mack Road and Summersdale Avenue to hang out, police and prosecutors said. It was there that the jury found they came across Johnson and shot him before he could make it to the bus stop.