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Two Men Ordered to Stand Trial for Berkeley Murder in 2010

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Thursday January 17, 2013 - 04:56:00 PM

A judge today ordered two men to stand trail on murder and attempted murder charges for a fatal shooting near a Berkeley barbershop in broad daylight in October 2010 that left one man dead and another seriously wounded.

At the end of a lengthy preliminary hearing that began in mid-December and met intermittently since then, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Larry Goodman ruled that prosecutors showed that there's probable cause to show that Brandon Wallace, 23, of Bay Point, and Coleon Lee Carroll, 23, of Berkeley, are responsible for a shooting in the 2900 block of Sacramento Street in Berkeley at 8:45 a.m. on Oct. 26, 2010, that left Gary Ferguson Jr., a 35-year-old Oakland man, dead and a second man seriously injured.

Berkeley police said at least a few dozen shots were fired in the incident.

Prosecutor Steve Dal Porto, who declined to disclose a motive for the shooting, said he believes that the shooting was carried out by Wallace and another man who is still at large and Carroll was the driver in the incident. 

He said that in an unusual twist in the case, the suspect who remains at large accidentally shot Wallace in the back of his leg as Wallace was backing away from the shooting scene. 

Dal Porto said Wallace then sought medical treatment at a local hospital but used a false name and claimed that he had been shot outside the Richmond BART station. 

Much of the evidence in the case was circumstantial but Dal Porto said a witness identified Wallace as one of the suspects who ran away from the shooting scene and Carroll's ex-girlfriend connected him to the crime. 

He said phone records and a GPS-tracking device also connected Wallace and Carroll to the shooting. 

Goodman also ordered Carroll to stand trial on robbery and assault with a deadly weapon charges for allegedly robbing and shooting at a man outside a store in Berkeley in June 2010. 

In addition, Dal Porto said he plans to file pimping and pandering charges against Carroll for allegedly ordering his ex-girlfriend to perform acts of prostitution and to give her proceeds to Carroll and his mother. 

Carroll's ex-girlfriend testified on Dec. 27 that she made between $50,000 and $65,000 doing prostitution while she was with him and she gave most of it to Carroll and his mother. 

She testified on Dec. 26 that she finally left Carroll because, "I was tired of being a slave." 

She said that after she had been with him for about a year she "disappeared" and "told him I would take a trip and never come back." 

Dal Porto said Wallace and Carroll both have prior robbery convictions. 

Wallace and Carroll are scheduled to return to court on Feb. 1 to be arraigned a second time and have a trial date set.