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Oxnard Man Convicted in Slaying of Football Player

Robert Hosea claimed self-defense in the stabbing over a woman whom both were dating.

November 29, 2002|Holly J. Wolcott and Tracy Wilson | Times Staff Writers

After deliberating a little more than a day, a Ventura County jury has convicted an Oxnard man of first-degree murder for fatally stabbing a semiprofessional football player during a fight over a woman.

Robert Hosea, 20, faces 26 years to life in state prison when sentenced Jan. 9.

During his trial, Hosea admitted stabbing Artis Jackson, 25, with a butcher knife during a brawl over a woman whom both men were dating.

But Hosea told jurors he acted in self-defense after the heavy-set football player threatened him and began to slam his head into the pavement outside an Oxnard apartment complex.

Jurors concluded, however, that Hosea had deliberately attacked Jackson with the intent to kill him.

"This whole self-defense argument was out the door fairly quickly," said one juror, who declined to give his name, after the verdict was delivered late Wednesday.

Jurors told lawyers outside the courtroom after the verdict was returned that they thought Hosea intentionally retrieved the knife in order to confront Jackson.

Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Richard Simon said the March 26 killing was particularly egregious because it occurred in front of the victim's young son.

"He leaned down and said goodbye to his father because he knew he was going to die," Simon said in an interview.

According to authorities, Hosea had been dating Oxnard resident Demetrice Folse for a few months when she left him and returned to a live-in situation with Jackson, her former boyfriend and the father of her son.

Jackson played football for the Pasadena-based California Bandits.

On the day of the killing, Hosea drove to the couple's Vineyard Avenue apartment and waited outside, authorities said.

About 8 p.m., as the couple and their son were walking to a nearby store, Hosea jumped Jackson, they struggled and Jackson was stabbed several times with a knife, authorities said.

Jackson died of wounds to his neck and back a few hours later at a local hospital, Simon said.

During the weeklong trial that started Nov. 18, Deputy Public Defender Joseph Villasana argued that his client had acted in self-defense after being attacked by Jackson and Jackson's brother, who had seen the fight begin from the couple's apartment balcony.

Simon argued that the killing was premeditated because Hosea had confronted Jackson earlier the same day, then driven a few miles to Ventura, where he retrieved the knife from his sister's house.

Hosea remains in custody.

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