Blacknell sentenced to life without parole for 2009 crime spree

blacknell, melson, russell

Joe “Fatter” Blacknell III was sentenced to life in prison plus more than 200 years without possibility of parole for the March 2009 murder of an up-and-coming East Bay rap artist and a September 2009 shooting and carjacking spree in Richmond and Oakland. Blacknell, now 21, was arrested after a brief foot pursuit with Richmond…

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Jailhouse interview with Joe ‘Fatter’ Blacknell, who faces life in prison for ’09 slaying

joe fatter blacknell

How do you say hello to a convicted murderer? The thought darted through my head as I strode through the Martinez Courthouse jail facility’s winding corridors of concrete and steel. In moments I would be face-to-face—albeit divided by two-inch thick Plexiglas—with Joe Blacknell III, the young man described by police and District Attorney’s Office officials…

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Richmond gang detective alleges Blacknell built reputation for violence

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Throughout most of 2009, neighborhood cliques of mostly teens and young adults were locked in a back-and-forth feud, intensified by ambitions for respect and reprisal. Mixed with the hot tempers and youthful indiscretions, social networking sites had become bulletin boards for taunts, and a burgeoning hop-hop video scene on YouTube bristled with boasts and threats.…

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Despite intense interrogation, Blacknell’s story consistent

joe blacknell III

The burly detective turned up the intensity, sometimes yelling in a bass-heavy bellow, cursing frequently. His partner chipped in some grim facts—she reminded the 18-year-old suspect about the prospects of a lifetime behind bars. And it wasn’t just a tough-talk routine. The detectives feigned that they had evidence—DNA, surveillance and witnesses—solid as the iron bars…

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Testimony in case of murdered rapper centers on day of bloodshed

joseph blacknell fatter youn smacka marcus russell

By the time for the Richmond Police Department’s evening shift change, the city was on high alert. Bloodshed had started just before 9 a.m., when gunfire at the Pullman Apartment complex sent two alleged gang members to Kaiser Hospital. About two hours later, a 30-year-old man and his 10-year-old niece sitting in a green Buick…

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