Sacto 9-1-1
August 6, 2012
Murder trial begins over fatal marijuana deal

Prosecutors and defense attorneys delivered opening statements today in the murder trial of Andre Powe, the last remaining defendant in the Jan. 26, 2010, shooting death of Shawn West in a Jack in the Box parking lot on Stockton Boulevard.

Deputy District Attorney Charles Gonzalez told a Sacramento Superior Court jury that Powe, who is now 23, shot West, 26, in the chest during a marijuana deal rip-off.

Powe was one of three men originally charged in the case. One former co-defendant, Cort Parnell Milgrim, 24, pleaded guilty to a murder charge July 24. The second alleged participant, Joel Satchell, 22, entered a no-contest plea early last year to the reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter.

Satchell is scheduled to testify during the trial that is expected to last two weeks.

"They got no money," Gonzalez said of the three. "They got no marijuana. They just left a dead body."

Defense attorney Dionne Choyce agreed that Powe shot and killed West. But the lawyer said the case was neither a robbery nor a murder. He said the shooting resulted "from a drug deal gone bad" and that Powe fired on West in self defense. Choyce told jurors that the West charged Powe just before the shooting and that his client believed that the victim's brother, who accompanied West to the parking lot on Stockton Boulevard at Elsie Avenue. was armed.

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