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Prosecutor seeks two attempted murder convictions for shooting ex-girlfriend, other man

An Alameda County prosecutor told jurors Monday that a man should be convicted of two counts of attempted murder for shooting his ex-girlfriend and a male friend as they sat in a car in Berkeley three years ago.

In his closing argument in the trial of Anthony Burton, 47, prosecutor Glenn Kim said he believes Burton shot his girlfriend and the other man as they sat in a car on Tremont Street, near the Ashby BART station, at about 1 a.m. on March 16, 2016, because “his manhood was threatened.”

Kim said:

“Seeing her with a different man was threatening to him.”

But Burton’s lawyer, Richard Ortega, said Burton should be found not guilty because he fired shots in self-defense, thinking she was in danger when he found her in a car with a strange man after midnight.

Ortega said Burton “wanted to make sure she was not in danger” and used a tracking device to find her.

Ortega argued Burton opened fire because the other man reached down to grab something in the car and Burton thought he was going for a gun.

The defense lawyer said Burton “reasonably believed that the immediate use of force was necessary” to defend against the possibility that the other man would harm Burton or his ex-girlfriend.

However, Kim said the other man and Burton’s ex-girlfriend weren’t armed.

Both victims survived their injuries but Burton’s ex-girlfriend has endured long-term medical complications. Burton was arrested April 19, 2016, after an automated license plate reader tracked him to a Denny’s restaurant parking lot near Sacramento and police found him sleeping in his car there.

In addition to two counts of attempted murder, Burton is charged with corporal injury to a relationship partner, assault with a semiautomatic weapon, shooting at an occupied motor vehicle and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Prosecutors said Burton was not legally permitted to own guns due to a 1992 conviction for assault with a deadly weapon in Santa Clara County. Jurors will begin deliberating Burton’s fate Tuesday morning.

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