Sacto 9-1-1
September 13, 2013
Killer gets 94-to-life for gang retaliation shooting that claimed innocent man

A suspected gang member convicted of first-degree murder in the mistaken-retaliation shooting death of a 20-year-old man near Sacramento Executive Airport five years ago was sentenced today to 94 years-to-life in prison.

Elijah Dupree Goethe, 23, received the term for the Oct. 12, 2008, killing of Joseph Washington in a car in the 2200 block of Mangrum Avenue.

"So, Mr. Goethe, you're going to die in state prison," Sacramento Superior Court Judge Patrick Marlette told the defendant.

According to evidence at trial, Goethe and members of his street gang on the night of the murder had just been fired upon in a shooting at a convenience store at 65th Street and Fourth Avenue.

A couple hours later, Goethe and an accomplice -- looking to retaliate -- came across Washington and a friend while the two victims were sitting in a car at 4:44 a.m. The two had nothing to do with the shooting at the convenience store, authorities said.

Gunshots from Goethe and his accomplice left Washington dead and his friend wounded by a bullet to the face, police said.

Authorities believe Goethe and his accomplice fired weapons and that a bullet from Goethe's gun struck Washington's friend.

Goethe's accomplice, identified in court as Semaj Jamal Douglas, was believed to be the shooter in Washington's death.

Douglas was never charged in the case due to a lack of evidence, Deputy District Attorney Thomas Asker said today. Douglas has since been convicted in an unrelated shooting and was sentenced in March to six years in state prison.

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