2 convicted in 2019 Oakland laptop robbery that killed East Bay engineer

Bay Area

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Two men were convicted in the violent 2019 Starbucks robbery that killed a 34-year-old man trying to retrieve his stolen laptop, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

On Tuesday, a jury found defendant Byron Reed guilty of the second-degree murder of Shuo Zeng and found co-defendant Kejuan Wiggins guilty of robbery and causing great bodily injury.

On Wednesday, Wiggins was convicted of voluntary manslaughter.

Zeng, an East Bay research engineer and scientist, was working at a Starbucks coffee shop on Mountain Boulevard in the Montclair District of Oakland on the morning of Dec. 31, 2019.

As Zeng was working, authorities say Wiggins snatched his laptop from him and fled into an awaiting vehicle.

Zeng chased after the thief, hanging onto the BMW getaway car.

Reed was later determined to be the getaway driver and Wiggins the thief who kicked Zeng as he tried to get his laptop back.

Zeng was ejected from the car to the ground where he was run over by the car driven by Reed.

A third suspect, identified as Javon Lee, who served as a lookout, pleaded no contest to robbery before the trial began.

Reed was also convicted of robbery and causing great bodily injury and faces 15 to 30 years in prison. Wiggins faces 12 years in prison and Lee faces between two and 10 years in prison.

All three defendants are expected to be sentenced on Jan. 7.

For weeks after the murder, the community left notes on the windows of the Starbucks with messages to Zeng’s family.

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