Abraham Hade took the stand Wednesday to defend himself against accusations that he fatally stabbed Newark Memorial High School football player Osana Futi, according to a report from Bay City News.
Hade, a Fremont resident, is being tried in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland on charges that he stabbed Futi to death last April, shortly before the victim would have graduated.
In their opening arguments defense attorney Thomas Knutsen and his opposite, Alameda County prosecutor Elgin Lowe, agreed that Futi's stabbing arose from a feud between football players at Newark Memorial and members of the Norteno gang.
Lowe has argued that Hade wielded the knife in the attack that occurred about 11 p.m. on April 28, 2012, following a house party on the 4900 block of Hyde Park Drive, near Yellow Stone Park Drive in Fremont.
But Knutsen has sought to convince jurors that Futi was killed by a friend of Hade's who was only 14 at the time of the murder. That juvenile told Fremont police that he was the one who stabbed Futi, Knutsen said.
After Hade testified on Wednesday, Knutsen sought to question the teenage boy whom the defense believes to be the person who killed Futi, according to Bay City News.
The news service said the boy pleaded his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, so the judge ended court early and assigned a lawyer to represent the boy.
Bay City says the trial will resume at 10 a.m. Thursday to see if the boy will testify then.
The prosecutor has argued that, in gang culture, juveniles take blame for crimes comitted by adults because minors face less severe consequences.
The Futi case is linked to another deadly confrontation between Nortenos and Newark Memorial High football players.
Defense and prosecution attorneys both traced the Futi case to animosties arising from the near the intersection of Cedar Boulevard and Birch Street in Newark at about 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2010.
Newark police have said that Afoa was killed in an act of revenge because he had beaten up a 30-year-old Norteno gang member.
Rafael Tovar, 32, his half-sister, Daniela Guzman, 19, and their friend Daniel Howard, 31, face charges for their alleged roles in the Afoa killing; Tovar and Howard for allegedly perpetrating the act with Guzman as their accomplice.
All three defendents in the Afoa case are scheduled to appear at the Hayward Hall of Justice, Department 513, at 10 a.m. Monday for a pre-trial conference.