25-year-old Clem Thompkins, one of two convicted co-defendants in a highly publicized 2011 double-murder in an Oakland restaurant, was sentenced today to life in prison without parole. He and fellow reputed gang member Lamar Fox, also 25, were each convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder, as Bay City News reports.
Oakland residents and others may recall the late-night shooting at Sweet Jimmie's bar and restaurant in April 2011 that took the lives of two people and left five others wounded. It was a shocking case in part because the accused, reportedly Thompkins, fired indiscriminately into the restaurant at least ten times without finding any intended target. The motive had been retaliation for an earlier incident with rival gang members, however none of these rivals were at the restaurant at the time.
Killed that night were two fathers with small children, 27-year-old William Jenkins of Oakland, and 22-year-old Adam Williams of San Leandro. Their family members spoke in court before the sentencing, expressing their grief.
Thompkins and Fox are said to members of the Lower Bottoms gang, and early on the morning of April 25, 2011, they went to Fox's home to retrieve an assault rifle after seeing a rival member of the Acorn gang flash a symbol of disrespect, indicating he was armed. After returning and not being able to find the rival, Fox entered Sweet Jimmie's to look for him. After getting into an altercation at the door, prosecutors contend that Thompkins got out of the car with the weapon and began shooting into the restaurant indiscriminately.
Sweet Jimmie's subsequently closed and never reopened after being something of an Oakland institution for decades, operating in other locations prior to this one.
Lawyers for Thompkins and Fox each argued that the other co-defendant did the actual shooting, and witnesses were mistaken because they looked so much alike.
Fox is scheduled to be sentenced on April 10.