OAKLAND — A jury is trying to decide whether a man who fatally shot the mother of four children was acting in self-defense during a 2014 road rage confrontation in East Oakland.
The jury began deliberating after attorneys made their closing arguments in the murder case Thursday against Carl Stephen Dubose, 24 .
Dubose maintains it was self-defense when he fired three shots at a Toyota Camry around 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 26, 2014 between the 400 and 600 blocks of 98th Avenue, killing Perla Avina, 30.
Dubose took the stand in his own defense this week, claiming he thought Avina’s husband, Luis Lopez Gallegos, was threatening him with gang symbols. He said he had pulled out on 98th Avenue, cutting off Gallegos’ car, causing the two to almost hit each other. He said when he switched lanes, Gallegos followed and made gang signs.
When Gallegos pulled up next to Dubose, he said something to the effect of being an “OG” (original gangster), Dubose said.
Dubose admitted he then brandished a gun and never saw Gallegos with a gun.
“I did that to basically show I can defend myself, to get him to leave me alone,” Dubose said.
But when he saw Gallegos reach down he thought he might have a weapon, so fired at the car three times, Dubose testified. One of the bullets struck Avina in the face, ultimately killing her.
Gallegos testified in court that he held onto his wife’s bloody body as he rushed home. When Gallegos got home, he claims he went upstairs to get his gun, which he wasn’t allowed to have because he’s a felon, convicted of domestic violence.
But Dubose’s attorney, Stephen Avilla, said in his closing arguments Thursday that Gallegos likely had the gun in the car with him, hid it in his waistband and dumped it in a trash bin outside. Two witnesses testified they never saw him leave the front of his house, where a neighbor was performing CPR on her, Avilla said.
But Deputy District Attorney Jimmie Wilson said in his closing arguments there should be no doubt in the jury’s minds that the shooting was on purpose.
“He took a mother away from her children after a minor traffic incident,” Wilson said.
He also argued that because Dubose was the first aggressor and admitted he pulled the gun out first, he can’t argue self-defense.