Oakland man convicted of murder in fatal shootout that killed his friend

OAKLAND — An Oakland man was convicted of second degree murder and other charges related to a 2019 shootout that killed his friend, who acted as a peacemaker in an earlier confrontation, court records show.

Brenton Boatwright, 27, was convicted of murdering 24-year-old Kaylen Tate, as well as attempted murder, assault with a firearm, and gun possession, court records show. Boatwright was convicted thanks in part to testimony of his former co-defendant, 35-year-old Abdulsatar Muqbel, who received a promise of leniency if he testified.

Prosecutors say Boatwright and Muqbel argued outside of Chico’s Liquor on Havenscourt Boulevard in Oakland the morning of July 22, 2019. Tate got in between the two men and prevented violence from escalating, and Boatwright and Tate left the area in a car. A few minutes later, Muqbel left the liquor store and drove after them, eventually catching up with Boatwright on 66th Avenue.

Video surveillance shows Boatwright getting out of his car, gun in hand. In the shootout that ensued, prosecutors said Boatwright fired the shot that killed Tate, an apparent errant shot aimed at Muqbel’s car.

Both Boatwright and Muqbel were charged with murder, but Muqbel pleaded no contest to a second degree murder charge before trial, with the promise that if he testified against Boatwright it would be dropped to manslaughter.

At trial, Boatwright’s attorney argued that Muqbel escalated the conflict and fired first, and that Boatwright only shot in self-defense as he was running away from the area.

Tate’s father is Chuck Lounge, a singer with the San Jose-based nine-piece cover band Tortilla Soup. The band held fundraisers for Tate’s memorial in the aftermath of the slaying.