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Oakland man faces fourth trial for 2011 fatal shootings

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Nik Wojcik/SFBay
Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland, Calif.

Alameda County prosecutors said on Thursday that they will make a fourth attempt to have an Oakland man convicted of two counts of murder for the fatal 2011 shooting of two cousins at an East Oakland apartment complex in what he says was a marijuana deal that went bad.

Kyle Puckett, 30, is charged in connection with the shooting deaths of Raymond Greenwood, 20, of Oroville, and Joshua Crouseite, 22, of Fairfield in the courtyard of an apartment complex in the 1300 block of MacArthur Boulevard at about 11:40 p.m. on Oct. 15, 2011.

Both men were shot multiple times.

Puckett has been prosecuted three times but all three of his trials have ended with deadlocked juries that resulted in mistrials.

Puckett’s most recent trial ended Oct. 29 in another mistrial when the jury split down the middle on the charge of first-degree and 7-5 in favor of guilt on the charge of second-degree murder.

The shooting deaths of Greenwood and Crouseite remained unsolved for about three and a half years until authorities arrested Puckett and another man, 26-year-old Deshawn Rico, on March 19, 2015.

Butch Ford, who has prosecuted Puckett at all three of his trials, alleges that Greenwood and Crouseite had a suitcase full of marijuana and that Puckett shot them both as he and Rico sought to steal the contents.

Rico was also charged with two counts of murder but pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter in 2016, shortly before Puckett’s first trial began, and was sentenced to 11 years in state prison.

Puckett’s trial in 2016 ended in a mistrial after jurors deadlocked 8-4 in favor of acquitting him. His second trial ended in a mistrial on July 23, 2018, after jurors deadlocked 11-1 in favor of convicting him.

In an unusual move at a hearing on Thursday, prosecutors said they want to prosecute Puckett a fourth time and Alameda County Superior Court Judge Mark McCannon set a trial date of Dec. 30.

However, there will be a hearing on Dec. 20 on a defense motion to dismiss the charges against Puckett.

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