A man who fatally stabbed a neighbor during a fight after a night of drinking in East Oakland last year has been sentenced to seven years in state prison.
Antwan Robinson, 44, was charged with murder for the stabbing death of Alexander Christopher Hayes, 38, in the 7700 block of MacArthur Boulevard at about 12:15 a.m. on June 16, 2017. Hayes died at a hospital a short time later.
But in a trial that ended on May 17, Robinson was convicted of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.
Robinson faced up to 12 years in state prison but at a hearing on September 7, Alameda County Superior Court Judge C. Don Clay only sentenced him to seven years, giving him the middle term instead of the maximum term for his manslaughter conviction.
Alameda County prosecutor Butch Ford alleged in his closing argument in the case that Robinson was the aggressor in the fight and taunted Hayes by saying in front of a large group of their mutual acquaintances, “You just want this booty,” implying that Hayes wanted to have sex with him.
Ford said, “If you accuse a heterosexual man of being gay in that neighborhood (in East Oakland) it usually leads to violence.”
Ford said Robinson should be convicted of first-degree murder for killing Hayes and said a second defendant, 32-year-old Ebony Lewis, should be convicted of second-degree murder for aiding and abetting by giving Robinson the knife he used to stab Hayes.
He alleged that Robinson and Lewis “worked together” to murder Hayes.
But jurors found Robinson not guilty of both first- and second-degree murder and only convicted him of the lesser-included charge of voluntary manslaughter. Jurors also acquitted Lewis of the murder charge she faced.
Robinson’s lawyer Richard Foxall admitted to jurors during the trial that Robinson fatally stabbed Lewis, but said Robinson did so in self-defense after Hayes attacked him several times and came at him with a 3-foot-long wooden object that was similar to an ax handle.
Ford said Robinson and Hayes engaged in “mutual combat” but alleged that Robinson was never in fear for his life and continued to stab Hayes even after Hayes had backed up 50 feet and was lying helplessly on the ground.
The prosecutor said Robinson stabbed Hayes eight times, including once when he was on the ground.
After Lewis was acquitted, her lawyer Alex Harper said she “had no reason whatsoever” to want to have Hayes killed because he was a friend of hers.
Robinson was arrested but never charged for the fatal stabbing of Reibu Washington, his 24-year old half-brother, at the home where they lived in the 1300 block of 81st Avenue in Oakland in September 1998.
Oakland police Sgt. Jeff Loman said at the time that Robinson told authorities that he stabbed Washington because Washington was violent and drunk and was harming their 4-year-old niece.
Loman said Robinson was cooperative with police and waited for officers to arrive after he killed Washington.
Loman said Robinson told police he was trying to get Washington to leave the house when the fatal fight occurred.
By Jeff Shuttleworth.