People v. Roosevelt Vines Jr.

On March 6, 2020, a jury found defendant Roosevelt Vines Jr. guilty of first degree murder with gun allegations, guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm at the time of the murder, and guilty of dissuading /intimidating a witness.

On August 27, 2018, at 3:43 p.m. defendant Vines shot and killed victim Mario Thomas one time in the left temple. The defendant committed this act in broad daylight in the parking lot of the 7100 block of International Boulevard in Oakland. Vitim Thomas was a homeless man who regularly frequented the area. Defendant Vines set out that day to “gather information” regarding the murder of Esau Davis the night before. Defendant Vines sought out victim Mario Thomas knowing he would likely have information related to the murder the night before. Defendant had a brief discussion with victim Mario Thomas and then pulled out the loaded 9mm gun, pointed it at Mario’s head, and pulled the trigger ending Mario’s life.

Defendant Vines began walking away from the scene of his execution before Mario’s body even hit the asphalt. Mario was left face-down in a pool of his own blood for almost a half hour before another passerby saw him and alerted others to call police. Before his arrest, defendant Vines admitted to the murder to those close to him. After his arrest, defendant Vines was heard on recorded jail calls dissuading and intimidating one of those individuals who had provided information to the police. Defendant Vines testified in his own defense admitting to being the killer but claiming he shot his “friend”, Mario Thomas, by accident. The jury rejected that false tale and found that he had premeditated and deliberated on his actions before murdering victim Mario Thomas.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Charly Weissenbach with the assistance of Inspector James Gordon and Victim-Witness Advocate Natalie Hernandez. The defendant will be sentenced on June 5, 2020.

Posted on Mar 6, 2020