A Hayward man faces at least 30 years to life in state prison
after being convicted of attempted murder for shooting a longtime friend over
a $300 marijuana debt three years ago.
Prosecutor Adam Maldonado said 22-year-old Nateel Sharma got into
an argument with the victim, who was 19 years old at the time, outside
Sharma's home on Newhall Street in Hayward the night of Sept. 15, 2011,
because the victim owed him money for marijuana.
A short time later, Sharma and the victim got into a fight and
Sharma armed himself with a 12-gauge shotgun and raised the barrel of the
shotgun to his stomach, Maldonado said.
The victim then put the barrel of the shotgun on the center of his
stomach and dared Sharma to shoot him in front of a crowd of about 10 people
who had gathered to watch the confrontation, according to Maldonaldo.
Sharma paused for several seconds and then fired a single birdshot
round into the victim's stomach at point-blank range, Maldonado said.
Sharma fled the area with his sister, Neshal Sharma, 20, and they
tried to drive to San Mateo to escape police but Hayward police stopped them
just before they got onto the freeway, according to Maldonaldo.
The victim suffered a "softball-sized hole" in his stomach but was
able to survive the shooting, Maldonado said.
In addition to convicting Nateel Sharma of attempted murder in
their verdict on Thursday, they convicted him of assault with a firearm and
an enhancement clause for personally discharging a firearm and causing great
Neshal Sharma was convicted of being an accessory after the fact
and faces up to three years in state prison.
The Sharmas are scheduled to be sentenced by Alameda County
Superior Court Judge Cecilia Castellanos on July 25.