gaveldecision.jpgA Marin County jury Wednesday morning convicted four San Francisco men of conspiracy and the murder of Novato businessman Tong Van Le, 44, as he sat in his car in the garage of his home in 2008.

A fifth defendant, Anchulita Uribe, 36, of Antioch, was convicted of being an accessory after the fact by disposing of the firearm used in the Sept. 13, 2008 slaying. The gun was never found.

Uribe was out of custody during the 5-month trial but was remanded after the verdicts this morning, Chief Deputy District Attorney Barry Borden said.

Defendants Larry Blay Jr., 22, his brother Deandre Blay, 20, Kevin Abram, 20, and C. Autis Johnson III, 20, were convicted of first-degree murder, conspiracy and dissuading a witness, Borden said.

The murder happened a few weeks after Le’s Nassar Market in San Francisco was robbed on Aug. 23, 2008.

Larry Blay was a suspect in that robbery, but the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office dropped the robbery charge against Blay after Le’s murder.

The four men, however, were indicted on the murder and conspiracy charges and for special circumstances of lying in wait and killing Le to prevent him from testifying against Blay in the market robbery case.

Borden said the jury found all four men killed Le to prevent his testimony. The jury also found Deandre Blay, Johnson and Kevin Abram lay in wait to kill Le, but Larry Blay did not, Borden said.

Larry Blay ordered Le’s murder from his San Francisco jail cell, according to the indictment. The prosecution alleged the defendants then followed Le home from San Francisco in a 1991 Acura Legend and ambushed Le in the garage of his home at 57 Pizarro Ave. in Novato. Abram was believed to be the shooter, Borden said.

Johnson also was found guilty of being an accessory by helping dispose of the murder weapon, Borden said.

Larry Blay faces life in prison without the possibility of parole, Borden said. Deandre Blay, Johnson and Abram face life in prison with the possibility of parole because they were juveniles at the time of the murder, Borden said.

A sentencing date will be set by Judge Terrence Boren on June 29. Borden said the defendants will probably be sentenced in late August or early September.

The grand jury also indicted a sixth San Francisco man, Sean Demetrius Washington, now 26, of San Francisco, but he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and testified against his co-defendants.

The defense questioned his credibility and the motive for his plea agreement during the trial.

James Lanaras, Bay City News

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