Attorneys in the trial of a man accused of a 2012 Visitacion Valley double homicide argued Thursday over whether he killed the two men in retribution for the slaying of his friend — or in self-defense of himself and others.
A day after his friend was killed, Keith Wilkins stood in front of 50 Burr Ave., where neighbors were gathered to offer condolences — the same location where he allegedly shot two men in the head one by one.
Rumors about the killing of Elijah Hopkins, 18, had spread throughout the Visitacion Valley neighborhood and the victims — Fred Glaspie, 27, and Marche Daniels, 25 — were fingered as Hopkins alleged killers, based on rumors
Wilkins’ attorney argued Thursday the murder defendant allegedly shot and killed Glaspie and Daniels on July 30, 2012 in self-defense and a fit of panic when they showed up uninvited to the gathering.
“You didn’t see a cold blooded killer there, you saw an emotionally confused, upset person who knew and knows that he was pushed by forces beyond him,” defense attorney Malcolm Smith told jurors during closing arguments in the trial.
Wilkins, 26, is facing two counts of first-degree murder and three firearms-related charges.
“The fact of killing does not equal guilt,” Smith said. “The fact is that any violent death, any death by gunshot wound is going to be ugly.”
Smith argued the two men were at the house that day not for a friendly visit but “on business.” While weapons were not found on their bodies, the guns might have been removed from the scene before police arrived, he speculated.
But Assistant District Attorney John Ullom argued Daniels and Glaspie were unarmed, and at the house that day to deny rumors that they were involved in the killing of Wilkins’ friend, Hopkins.
The double homicide, which unfolded in a matter of seconds, was captured on video shown in court Thursday.
If convicted, Wilkins faces a maximum of life in prison.