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Judge declares mistrial in East Oakland murder case

After jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked, a judge declared a mistrial on Monday in the case of a Castro Valley man who’s charged with murder for the fatal shooting of another man after a party in East Oakland two years ago.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Andrew Steckler issued his ruling when jurors said they were knotted 8-4 in favor of convicting Tavon Foster, 25, after nearly four full days of deliberations.

Foster is charged for the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Darnell Foster of Oakland, who’s not related, after Darnell Foster left a party in the 2400 block of Havenscourt Boulevard at about 2 a.m. on Feb. 11, 2017. Darnell Foster died a short time later in the 6500 block of Avenal Avenue, about two blocks from the party.

Tavon Foster was arrested on March 14, 2017, when police stopped him for allegedly running a stop sign and did a background check on him which showed that he was wanted on a warrant in connection with Darnell Foster’s death.

Prosecutor Butch Ford said all 12 jurors told him after the mistrial was declared that they believe that Tavon Foster killed Darnell Foster but 4 jurors said there wasn’t enough evidence to convince them to find Tavon Foster guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Tavon Foster is scheduled to return to court on Thursday to have a new trial date scheduled.

Before his murder trial began Foster pleaded no contest to two gun-related counts.

Steckler said it hasn’t yet been determined if Foster will be sentenced on those counts soon or the term for those counts will be determined after his second trial is completed.

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