A jury deliberated for less than three days before finding Joevon Bowen guilty of the murder of 26-year-old Armando Arce early on the morning of Feb. 19, 2003, according to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
Arce was shot 12 times near the intersection of Willow Alley and Polk Street after two other men were murdered hours earlier in Oakland as part of an apparent gang initiation, according to the district attorney’s office.
Bowen, 32, was long suspected in Arce’s killing, but was not arrested until 2009, following the conviction of another man in Alameda County the previous year for his role as a lookout in Arce’s killing, as well as the Oakland murders.
Monterrio Davis, of Oakland, was convicted of the murders in Alameda County in 2008 and was later sentenced to life in prison.
Alameda County prosecutors said Davis, Bowen and others had been part of a plan to start a new branch of the “Nut Cases,” a notorious Oakland street gang that became weakened in early 2003 when many of its leaders were arrested.
The murders in Oakland and San Francisco were considered a test of the suspects’ dependability and loyalty, according to Alameda County prosecutors.
Bowen’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Mark Iverson, said today that “We’re very disappointed but obviously respect the jury’s decision.”
The prosecution relied on two central witnesses in the case who were in the same car as Bowen when it traveled to spot where Arce was killed.
Iverson said he felt “the evidence was very suspect” because those witnesses “were invested in exonerating themselves.”
Bowen will return to court on March 17 for sentencing. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News