One of two men accused of murder for the 2006 death of a man who succumbed to a gunshot wound shortly after stumbling to the door of a University of California at Berkeley sorority house has pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, a prosecutor said today.
Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Tim Wellman said 21-year-old Brandon Crowder of Berkeley entered his plea on Monday afternoon, shortly after a jury was selected for a trial for Crowder and co-defendant Nicholas Beaudreaux, a 23-year-old Richmond man, in connection with the September 2006 death of 23-year-old Wayne Drummond Jr. of Oakland.
Beaudreaux, who still faces murder charges, is now standing trial alone. His trial began today with opening statements and testimony by four witnesses.
Wellman declined to comment at length on the case but said his theory is that Beaudreaux shot and killed Drummond and Crowder was an accomplice.
According to Berkeley police, Drummond was shot after a confrontation with Beaudreaux and Crowder and was then taken by friends to the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority at 2311 Prospect House, near the UC Berkeley campus, where he collapsed and died shortly after 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 4, 2006.
Beaudreaux and Drummond weren't arrested until February 2008 because it took authorities a long time to develop sufficient evidence in the case.
Berkeley police said Crowder and Beaudreaux were involved in an argument with Drummond in front of Blakes on Telegraph, a restaurant and bar located at 2367 Telegraph Ave. The three men were reportedly walking east in the 2500 block of Durant Avenue when Crowder allegedly directed Beaudreaux to shoot Drummond, according to police.
Wellman said Beaudreaux's trial will continue on Thursday but then will be in recess until June 29 because Alameda County Superior Court C. Don Clay, who is presiding over the case, has another assignment next week.