One assailant still at large seven years after crimes
On a summer morning in 1999 two people entered a Potrero Hill home and killed a young man, after making him watch the rape of his girlfriend. One of the assailants was convicted Thursday and faces life in prison. The other perpetrator is still at large.
San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris said the conviction was a victory.
"This case represents certainly a horrific crime," Harris said at a press conference announcing the court decision. "It also represents a great success in the work that we’re able to do as law enforcement when we have the evidence to be able to chargeand prosecute these cases."
The jury deliberated five hours before convicting Ivory Morton, 36, of one count of first-degree murder and one count of rape, as well as a special allegation of use of a firearm. Morton, who faces life in prison without parole, is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 14.
According to Assistant District Attorney Eric Fleming, Morton was an acquaintance of Mark Barton, then 26, and may have had "some type of drug relationship" with him. Morton and another assailant entered Barton's home on July 9, 1999, at 6 a.m., tied Barton up, forced him to watch the rape of his girlfriend of more than three years, and then shot him in the head with a shotgun.
The 21-year-old girlfriend, who had been put into a closet and tied up after the rape, was later shot in the stomach by one of the assailants who was then wearing a mask, Fleming said. She eventually put on clothes, crawled outside and sought help.
DNA evidence at the scene linked Morton to the crime. He was also identified by the female victim as her rapist. The other assailant has, to date, not been identified.
With The City reeling from the news of five fatal shootings in the last seven days, the conviction "comes at an important time for our community," Harris said.
"The rash of homicides that we’re seeing in The City is extremely troubling for all of us," Harris firstname.lastname@example.org