Judge overrules demurrer in trial for December shooting in Berkeley

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OAKLAND — On Friday, a judge overruled a demurrer in the ongoing murder trial for a December double shooting that occurred in West Berkeley, which left one victim dead.

Three defendants — 21-year-old Carl Young, 20-year-old Gregory Foote and 18-year-old Khalil Phanor — were charged in February with murder, second-degree robbery and assault with a firearm. On Dec. 29, Kamahl Middleton was killed after he and his then-fiancee, Rebekah Cleberg, allegedly planned to trade Young a pound and a half of marijuana, according to a court hearing.

That night, police found Middleton and Cleberg suffering from gunshot wounds in a parking lot near University and San Pablo avenues. Middleton was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple shotgun pellet wounds to his shoulder and chest, while Cleberg survived her injuries.

According to court documents, Phanor was charged with intentionally discharging the firearm, while Foote and Young were arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting in the homicide while committing robbery.

Jason Campbell, Young’s defense attorney, filed the demurrer — which attempted to relieve Young of a firearm enhancement — to challenge Young’s charge on the count of assault with a firearm, arguing that Young did not carry or fire the weapon used in the homicide.

Because both Young and Foote were allegedly active in the execution of the crime, prosecutors argued that they could be charged with the enhancement as well.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jon Rolefson overruled the demurrer, agreeing with the prosecutor’s argument that the firearm enhancement applied to both the person who discharged the firearm and those who aided in the shooting.

Young, Foote and Phanor are scheduled to enter pleas Tuesday at Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland at 9:01 a.m.

Contact Cassandra Vogel at [email protected].