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Man pleads no contest to manslaughter after jury deadlocks in murder trial

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A Castro Valley man pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter on Friday for fatally shooting another man after a party in East Oakland in 2017.

Tavon Foster, 25, was charged with murder for the 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.

But when Foster stood trial in February a judge declared a mistrial after jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked in favor of convicting him of murder.

Alameda County prosecutor Butch Ford said after the mistrial that all 12 jurors told him that they believed Tavon Foster killed Darnell Foster but four jurors said there wasn’t enough evidence to convince them to find him guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt.

Foster’s plea agreement calls for him to receive a 15-year state prison term when he’s sentenced on July 22.

About five of Darnell Foster’s family members were present when Tavon Foster entered his plea.

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