31-year-old Miguel Inostroz was convicted Tuesday of second-degree murder in the September 2011 death of James "Lucie" Parkin in a Hayward motel. Though prosecutors were seeking a first-degree murder conviction, the jury appears to have been swayed somewhat by the defense's claim that Inostroz did not mean for his gun to go off.
Inostroz is a known meth user and he and five friends were staying at the motel the night of the incident. They invited Parkin, a transsexual acquaintance, over to the motel under the auspices of giving one of the friends a ride, but when she arrived, Inostroz confronted her about money that she owed him. He pulled $30 from Parkin's bra and struck her on the head with the butt of his pistol.
He claims that while he had his gun out and he did shoot her, he did not mean to and the gun only went off when one of his friends grabbed his arm. Inostroz was shot in the back, and died of her wounds.
Inostroz's defense attorney was careful to say that gender identity did not appear to have anything to do with the crime, and an earlier report, months after the incident, from Fremont-based TransVision, confirmed that.
The jury also convicted him of assault with a firearm, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. This is Inostroz's third strike, after two other previous convictions, and he will be sentenced to up to life in prison on September 3.