Oakland Man Sentenced to 40-Years-to-Life in Prison for Second Degree Murder

April 6, 2011

ADA Seth Steward, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1014
Erica Terry Derryck, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1167


SAN FRANCISCO, CA – District Attorney George Gascón announced today that Nelson Barrera, (CN 2253259), was sentenced to 40 years to life.

“The victim in this case, Robert Mariano, was shot repeatedly in front of his mother and sister because this killer thought his gang was being disrespected.” said District Attorney George Gascón. “This sentence makes our community safer by keeping this violent criminal off the streets and making clear the consequences of such a senseless act of violence.”

The Honorable Jerome Benson sentenced the defendant to 15 years to life for second degree murder in violation of California Penal Code Section 187(a). Judge Benson also sentenced the defendant to two years concurrent state prison for carrying a concealed firearm in violation of California Penal Code 12025(a)(2) and two years state prison concurrent to the other counts for carrying a loaded firearm in violation of California Penal Code Section 12031(a)(1). The jury found true the allegation that the defendant personally and intentionally discharged a firearm causing great bodily injury or death in violation of California Penal Code Section 12022.53(d). Judge Benson sentenced the defendant to 25 years to life in prison for violating this section.

After deliberating for less than two days, the jury found the defendant guilty of the charges and the allegation on Tuesday, March 15, 2011. According to evidence presented at trial, on December 6, 2005, the victim, Robert Mariano, was shot repeatedly by the defendant, a Sureno gang member, as Mariano yelled at the defendant’s girlfriend about the dangers of bringing gang members to the area. The victim was shot four times, twice in the back. He died a short time later at San Francisco General Hospital.

The defendant claimed self defense or defense of others. After the crime, the defendant fled to Los Angeles where he was arrested. At the time of his arrest, the defendant was found in a gang vehicle with a list of gang members in his wallet. The defendant had gang tattoos, jewelry and clothing indicative of his gang affiliation. The defendant has a previous conviction for possession of a firearm in a vehicle.

Assistant District Attorney Scot Clark prosecuted the case.  Jean Hassett was the victim witness advocate on the case.  Robert Guzman was the District Attorney Investigator on the case.