An East Palo Alto drug dealer sentenced in San Mateo County Superior Court today could spend up to life in prison for the 2006 attempted murder of a man who had stopped purchasing drugs from him.
Judge John Runde called it a "callous" crime as he described the victim's testimony that Washington pistol-whipped him and shot at him three times.
On Dec. 12, East Palo Alto police found Michael Booker, 50, lying on the street in the area of Menalto Avenue and Mello Street suffering several gunshot wounds. He was taken to a local hospital and treated for gunshot wounds to his upper leg, elbow and buttocks.
Washington reportedly confronted Booker that evening about his change in drug purchasing habits. The two men argued and Washington pulled out a hand gun and shot him multiple times, including while he was lying on the ground, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.
Deputy District Attorney James Wade called the shooting an act of "revenge."
"He believed that he had been disrespected in his own territory," Wade said of Washington's motivation to shoot Booker. "He couldn't let it go."
Defense attorney Vincent O'Malley said that he was filing an appeal today because the "case was based solely on the testimony of one witness, the victim, who lied under oath."
O'Malley said that Booker not only lied under oath, but provided "extraordinarily conflicting testimony."
There were differing stories about how he was shot, who was present, his purpose of being at the location of the shooting and the actual conduct of the people present, O'Malley said.
However, according to Wade, Booker never changed his story about who actually shot him.
"From the minute he was contacted by police" he said that Washington was the one who shot him, Wade said.
"The situation is that Booker is the victim here," Wade said. "He was shot and will walk with a limp for the rest of his life."
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