By Malaika Fraley
Contra Costa Times
MARTINEZ - On Thursday, May 24 a Contra Costa jury convicted a 32-year-old man of first-degree murder for fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend’s roommate in Antioch last year.
The jury deliberated for about two hours before finding Antioch resident Kevin Gunning guilty in the April 25, 2011, death of 26-year-old David Wesley Johnson II. aGunning ambushed the heating and air-conditioning repairman because Johnson had gotten the better of him a month earlier during a fistfight that ensued after Johnson saw Gunning push down his then-girlfriend and intervened, deputy district attorney Molly Manoukian said.
Gunning, who faces 50 years to life in prison at sentencing June 22, did not visibly react to the verdict. Johnson’s mother, Tami Savage, of Southern Humboldt, broke down in tears.
"He killed my boy," Savage said. "Now he can’t do this to someone else. I’m very relieved."
Gunning pushed his ex-girlfriend aside to get into Johnson’s Pinenut Way home and confronted Johnson at gunpoint as the victim was seated watching TV. Gunning had ordered the woman and two others out of the house before shooting Johnson twice, in the heart and lower back.
Johnson’s stepfather was in a back bedroom when he heard the gunfire and escaped out a window.
Deputy public defender Diana Garrido argued that Gunning shot in self-defense when Johnson lunged at him with a knife. Gunning went to the house intending to talk to Johnson, and brought the gun for protection because he knew Johnson to be violent, she said.
There was a knife tucked into the frame of the living room love seat, but Johnson had no opportunity to access it before he was killed, Manoukian said. Antioch police arrested Gunning several hours after the shooting as he made his way to a different girlfriend’s residence.
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684.
1. Kevin Gunning
2. David Wesley Johnson II