Berkeley Resident Faces Murder Charges After January Shooting
Friday, February 6, 2009
Category: News > City > Local Schools
A Berkeley resident accused of fatally shooting a man in Southwest Berkeley last month formally faces murder charges following his arraignment yesterday.
Lee Freddy Green, 50, faces charges in connection with the Jan. 11 shooting that left 37-year-old Berkeley resident William Payton dead.
Green's initial charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon were formally changed after Payton was taken off life support at Oakland's Highland Hospital on Jan. 20. Payton's death marks Berkeley's first homicide of the year.
Green's attorney Ray Plumhoff appeared in court to officially accept a future trial date.
Plumhoff could not be reached yesterday for comment.
Payton was found with multiple gunshot wounds, lying on a sidewalk on the west side of the Bank of America parking lot located at 2546 San Pablo Avenue.
Later that night, Berkeley resident Rhonda Reid, 47, was arrested in connection with the shooting, but was released due to a lack of evidence.
Green turned himself in to police the day following the shooting, after learning that police were looking for him.
The Alameda County District Attorney's Office does not plan to press charges against Reid, said Assistant District Attorney Martin Brown.
Berkeley police Officer Andrew Frankel declined to comment on a possible motive for the shooting.
The homicide comes in the midst of rising homicide rates over the last five years, according to Frankel.
No bail has been set for Green, who remains in custody at the county jail.
Green's plea hearing is scheduled for Feb. 27 at the Wiley W. Manuel courthouse in Oakland.
An earlier version of this article may have implied that Berkeley resident Rhonda Reid was charged with murder and later acquitted. In fact, she was never charged.
The Daily Californian regrets the error.
Keena Batti covers the courts. Contact her at [email protected]
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