Two men who stood trial in relation to a 2014 fatal shooting in a SoMa residential hotel were found not guilty on the most serious charges against them — including murder — Wednesday in San Francisco Superior Court.
After deliberating for six days, the jury found 36-year-old Darius York — who was charged with murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm — guilty only of the second charge. Joseph Young, 35, meanwhile, was only found guilty of misdemeanor assault.
Prosecutors alleged York shot and killed Daniel Beltran, 18, with a semi-automatic pistol on July 22, 2014, and that Young was his accomplice. York was charged with murder and assault in connection with Beltran’s death and assault for allegedly attacking Beltran’s friend, Roger Alarcon. Young had faced multiple assault charges.
The shooting death of Beltran stemmed from an argument inside the Henry Hotel, a single-room occupancy hotel near Sixth and Mission streets.
The incident started with an argument in the lobby between Beltran and his friend and the two men who stood trial. Beltran had reportedly come to the SRO early that morning to buy drugs. After the doorman demanded a fee to enter, Beltran started to get angry. That’s when the doorman called York and Young. The pair started fighting with Beltran and his friend and then York opened fire.
Defense attorneys had argued that the pair were defending themselves against two belligerent men who came to the SRO for drugs.
Surveillance cameras captured the argument and subsequent shooting, and footage was played in court at the beginning of the trial.
But Deputy Public Defender Matthew Sotorosen, who represented York, has previously said surveillance videos failed to capture the threats Beltran and Alarcon allegedly uttered multiple times.
Young has already served more time in jail than a sentence for misdemeanor assault would carry and is set to be released from custody. York faces up to three years in custody and is set to be sentenced Thursday.
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