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…

Read More

Prosecutor reflects on trial, conviction of Joe ‘Fatter’ Blacknell in Richmond gang case

As the jury’s deliberation dragged into a second week, the pressure mounted. Always unflappable in the courtroom, prosecuting attorney Derek Butts nevertheless found himself wracked with inner anxiety. “Those two weeks were brutal,” Butts said. For more than a month in the trial of Joe Blacknell III, Butts’ scratchy monotone had never wavered. Hostile witnesses…

Read More