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Death Sentence Upheld In Oakland Killing

The state Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for an Oakland man who killed two people in a dispute over $3,500 worth of rock cocaine.

Maurice Boyette was 19 in 1992 when he fatally shot Gary Carter and Annette Devallier at the Oakland home of drug dealer Antoine Johnson.

Boyette told police he killed the pair after Johnson told him to get Devallier. Johnson believed Carter had stolen his coke and a thousand dollars in cash. Boyette said in his confession that he killed Devallier and then fatally shot Carter after Johnson wounded him. The high court voted six to one to reject claims Boyette raised in his appeal — including that his confession should not have been admitted as evidence.

State Public Defender Lynne Coffin says she will take the case to federal appeals courts if necessary. Boyette is one of more than 600 inmates on California┬┤s Death Row.