Was Rohnert Park homicide a case of self-defense?
Published: Monday, December 5, 2011 at 1:23 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 5, 2011 at 2:59 p.m.
Self-defense has emerged as a possible motive in the slaying of a 20-year-old Rohnert Park man whose body was found outside a Redwood Drive motel seven months ago.
Berry Adams, 32, is suspected of shooting Kevin “Ziggy” Craft, but is not charged with murder. Adams, who was in court Monday, instead faces a count each of pimping and felon in possession of a firearm.
Prosecutors wouldn't explain the charges. But Adams' former defense attorney said prosecutors told her they believe Adams may have shot Craft when Craft attempted to rob a prostitute who was allegedly working for Adams.
In an interview, attorney Kathleen Pozzi laid out the scenario she heard from prosecutors. They told her that email and cellphone records show Craft obtained a gun before his April 22 slaying and contacted a prostitute through an online posting, she said.
After having sex with the woman at the Best Western Inn on Redwood Drive, Craft pulled the gun and tried to rob her, Pozzi said.
Adams, who listened to the confrontation by cellphone from a car in the parking lot, burst into the room with his own gun, she said.
Adams shot Craft dead when Craft turned his gun on him, she said. Afterward, Adams, the prostitute and another woman attempted to move Craft's body but abandoned the effort for unknown reasons and left his remains outside the hotel, Pozzi said.
A surveillance video from a local convenience store shows Adams and a woman buying cigarettes about 90 minutes before Craft's body was found.
Adams and the two women fled to Sacramento. Adams was arrested in Las Vegas in October after an anonymous tip to police.
He has since been extradited to Sonoma County, where he was being held on $500,000 bail.
Adams pleaded not guilty to the charges on Nov. 21. His next hearing is Dec. 12 and James Loughborough will take over as his lawyer. The charges include enhancements for a prior felony conviction.
Craft attended Rancho Cotate and El Camino high schools and was nearing his 21st birthday when he was killed. He worked at his father's printing business and was planning to attend Santa Rosa Junior College.
His parents could not immediately be reached for comment Monday. His father, Curtis Craft, said in a published news report that police had discussed the events of the night but he could not discuss them.
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story included statements from defense attorney Kathleen Pozzi detailing criminal allegations against Berry Adams. Pozzi said she was discussing a prosecution scenario for self-defense in the homicide, not admitting any guilt on behalf of Adams.
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