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Attorney argues man accused of West Oakland double murder acted in self-defense

A prosecutor and a defense attorney on Monday disagreed about whether the fatal shooting of two men in West Oakland five years ago was an act of multiple murder or self-defense.

In his opening statement in the trial of Carlton Broussard, 34, Alameda County prosecutor Jimmie Wilson told jurors that at the end of the case, they should convict Broussard of two counts of murder for the shooting deaths of Marcus Sims, 29, and Donald Ward, 22, in the area of 10th and Willow streets at about 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 20, 2015.

Wilson alleged that Broussard is a member of the violent Campbell Village gang and said a witness told police that Broussard killed Sims and Ward because they were robbing elderly people who were friends of Broussard’s mother.

But defense attorney Stephen Avilla said Broussard shot Sims and Ward because he had been warned that his cousin had hired Sims and Ward to kill him.

Avilla said, referring to Sims and Ward:

“Mr. Broussard had a genuine concern that he would be killed by these two people.”

He said:

“(Broussard) did what he felt he had to do.”

Avilla also alleged:

“(Sims and Ward) weren’t angels by any stretch of the imagination.”

Avilla told jurors that at the end of Broussard’s trial, there won’t be enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Broussard is guilty of two counts of murder for the deaths of Sims and Ward and the special circumstance of committing multiple murders.

In addition to murder, Broussard is charged with being an ex-felon in possession of a gun as well as a second-degree robbery for a robbery at a smoke shop in Brentwood on Jan. 25, 2015, five days after the shooting.

Broussard has prior convictions for possession of a controlled substance with a firearm in January 2010, possession of a firearm by a felon in March 2006 and possession of drugs for sale in August 2005.

Wilson alleged that Broussard and two associates committed the robbery so that he had enough money to flee the state.

Broussard was arrested in Middleburg, Florida, on March 21, 2015, two months after the shooting.

Wilson said Broussard confessed after he was arrested. The prosecutor said there was a second gunman in the shooting who has never been arrested.

Sims was the older brother of Anthony Sims, now 24, who was convicted of second-degree murder for his role in the fatal shooting of Chyemil Pierce, a 30-year-old mother who was struck by crossfire as she was trying to help two of her children to safety outside her home in the 2800 block of Chestnut Street in West Oakland at about 4:45 p.m. on March 9, 2015.

That shooting occurred after two groups of women got into a fight on Chestnut Street and two groups of men came to the scene and became involved in the confrontation.

Wilson told jurors on Monday that parts of West Oakland are known for “extreme violence.”

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