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Two men accused of murder blame each other

Two men are dead and two gang members in Union City are blaming one another for the incident. The two men accused of the crime, one 19-year-old and one 22-year-old, are each facing two murder charges with felony gang enhancements following the shooting deaths of two male subjects on Aug. 25.

The incident took place on 11th street in Union City. Neighbors called for emergency assistance at about 1 a.m., saying that they had heard gunshots before finding the two men, ages 21 and 18, lying in the street with wounds caused by gunshots. One man was shot twice in the face while the other was shot in the back of the head, according to court records.

According to a statement made by the 19-year-old man to police, the four men were sharing beers before the 22-year-old accused them of belonging to a rival gang and shot them both fatally. However, after police told the 22-year-old man that they had DNA on a cigarette that placed him at the crime scene, he contradicted this story and told police that he witnessed the 19-year-old shoot the men. The police have not offered a motive for the killings. Several juvenile subjects were named as persons of interest, but criminal charges were not pursued against them.

It's not clear in the report if police have DNA evidence that would place one of the accused men at the crime scene. If the police were lying in order to elicit a confession, there may be no evidence to tie the men to the crime aside from their contradictory testimony. A defense lawyer may point out the lack of physical evidence and motive supplied by the police and have the case against them dismissed.

Source: San Jose Mercury News, "Reputed gang members blame each other in Union City double homicide", Natalie Neysa Alund, September 06, 2013

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