DNA testing performed on evidence found at the scene of a former Long Beach City College football player’s shooting linked an ex-convict to the slaying, a prosecutor told jurors today, but the man’s attorney countered that his client has been wrongly accused.
Edward Jacobs, now 32, is charged with killing Guy Eugene Alford III, 20, of Hawthorne. Alford was shot about 12:15 a.m. Sept. 26, 2018, in the drive- thru lane of a Jack-in-the-Box near 52nd Street and Atlantic Boulevard in Long Beach. Alford died at the scene from a gunshot wound to the neck.
The murder charge includes the special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of a robbery, along with an allegation that Jacobs personally and intentionally discharged a handgun. Jacobs — whom the prosecution has alleged has prior convictions from 2011 for robbery and 2015 for attempted robbery — is also charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.
In her opening statement, Deputy District Attorney Karen Brako told the jury in Long Beach that one of the men in Alford’s vehicle heard the masked and hooded assailant say something like “Give me” before a struggle and gunshots ensued as the victim was ordering food in the restaurant’s drive-thru lane.
A reference sample later obtained of Jacobs’ DNA matched the DNA profile found on a watch that was discovered in the drive-thru lane, along with evidence from the interior and exterior of the victim’s car and the victim’s fingernails, the prosecutor told jurors.
“Based on their investigation, detectives believe Jacobs approached Alford with the intent of committing a robbery, which ultimately resulted in Alford being shot by Jacobs,” Long Beach police said in a statement shortly after Jacobs was arrested in October 2019. Jacobs’ attorney, Samuel Leonard, countered that “this is a wrong person case.”
The defense lawyer noted that DNA testing of the watch showed a DNA mixture from four people — three of whom were never identified. “There is no reliable evidence … that Mr. Jacobs was involved in these events,” Leonard said.
Shortly after Alford’s death, the Long Beach City College football program mourned the Inglewood native’s death on its Twitter feed in a posting that read: “A very sad day for our Viking family. Senseless violence. `May the choirs of Angels come to greet you Guy!’ Great team player but a better person! StopThisNonSense Prayers go out to his family and friends from his LBCC family.”
The team’s defensive backs coach, Darnell Lacy, wrote on his page, “Tired of the cowards! This dude didn’t deserve this.” Former LBCC defensive backs coach James Wheeler, who coached Alford for two years, said in a Twitter post: “This was honestly a good, good kid and this one really hurts.” Alford’s family and friends paid tribute to him in a vigil a day after the shooting.