A man was acquitted Tuesday of murder and robbery charges for the death of another man in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park last year over an alleged marijuana-related debt, according to the public defender’s office.
Marcus Herrera, 24, was one of two men charged for the death of 55-year-old Robert Musial, who was found by police officers as he experienced a medical emergency near Sharon Art Studio in the park on the evening of April 27, 2012.
Musial lost consciousness before an ambulance arrived and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Herrera, who goes by the nickname “Wolfie,” was acquitted of murder and robbery but was convicted on charges of misdemeanor assault and assault with a deadly weapon, according to the public defender’s office.
Previously: SFPD Investigating Suspicious Death Near Golden Gate Park Carousel
SFPD Still Seeking Witnesses In Golden Gate Park Suspicious Death
Arrest Made In Golden Gate Park Attack And Death
Man Pleads Not Guilty To Golden Gate Park Killing
SFPD Makes Second Arrest In Golden Gate Park Death
Second Suspect In Golden Gate Park Death Appears In Court
The second suspect arrested in the case, Jeremy Brinker, pleaded guilty in February to voluntary manslaughter, robbery and false imprisonment charges in exchange for a nine-year state prison sentence and his testimony in the trial against Herrera.
According to the public defender’s office, Brinker asked Herrera to join him in confronting Musial, who allegedly owed him $5,000 for marijuana he was given two months earlier.
The confrontation took place in an area of the park informally known as “Hippie Hill,” where Herrera testified he nudged Musial with his skateboard several times in the shoulder and legs after Musial appeared to advance toward Brinker, according to the public defender’s office.
Brinker was later found with Musial’s debit card but claimed he never used it.
Musial’s cause of death was established as a probable lethal cardiac arrhythmia but a medical examiner’s investigator testified it was impossible to know whether the cardiac event was caused by the confrontation.
Herrera’s defense attorney, Deputy Public Defender Rebecca Young, said the case against her client was “outrageously overcharged and under proven.”
Herrera faces a maximum four-year sentence when he is sentenced on June 7, according to the public defender’s office.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News