One of two men who allegedly committed a home-invasion robbery is being tried in Alameda County for the murder of his accomplice, even though the person who pulled the trigger was the homeowner they were allegedly robbing.

The incident began on March 15, 2024, when the two suspects, David Washington and Charles Calloway, allegedly broke into a home on 102nd Street in Oakland near International Boulevard. As the Chronicle notes, it may be that Washington and Calloway believed they were burglarizing a home that was not occupied, but after entering through a back door, they were confronted by the armed homeowner, who fatally shot Calloway.

The homeowner himself was shot in the foot during an exchange of gunfire.

Now, Alameda County prosecutors are pursuing a murder charge against Washington, under the theory that he provoked the homeowner to fire the fatal shot that killed Calloway. Under California law, homeowners are allowed to use lethal force in protecting their home if they believe their lives are threatened, and thus the homeowner has not been charged with any crime.

While charging one suspect in a burglarly with the other's murder, when it's clear that the fatal shot came from a third victim claiming self-defense, may be rare, it's not without precedent in recent years.

A Vallejo man was sentenced last year to 14 years for involuntary manslaughter after his girlfriend was killed by an ex whom they were both attempting to confront in a home invasion. In that situation, the suspect Rickey Tyrone White Jr. was armed and was only minorly injured when the exchange of gunfire with the victim occurred.

This latest case comes amid a spike in robberies in Oakland, particularly home invasions. A lack of a sense of safety and a general sense of lawlessness in the city have been motivating factors behind a recall campaign against DA Pamela Price.

One legal expert, Michael Cardoza, a defense attorney who previously worked in the Alameda County prosecutors' office, tells the Chronicle that it will ultimately be up to a jury to decide if, under the provacative act theory for felony murder, Washington committed enough of a provocative act by committing the robbery and shooting his weapon.

The order of events that occurred inside the victim's home will likely also be a concern for the jury.

Washington also stands accused of residential burglary and attempted murder, in the shooting of the homeowners, as well as being a felon in possession of a firearm. Per the Chronicle, he is currently being held without bail in Santa Rita Jail.