OAKLAND (BCN) — A married father of three children who’s accused of murder for the beating death of a woman near Lake Merritt in Oakland last year testified today that he had sex with the woman but didn’t kill her.
Referring to the victim, 23-year-old Kimberly Robertson, Prince “Frank” Tsetse, 41, said, “I didn’t kill this woman, all I had was sex with her.”
Dressed in a white checkered shirt and a tie, Tsetse, a native of Ghana in West Africa who moved to Oakland in 2007, said he picked up Robertson in his red Toyota 4Runner SUV in the early morning hours of April 5, 2014, after she waved at him while she was at a bus stop near East 18th Street and Park Boulevard.
Tsetse said Robertson, who was in a criminal justice program at Heald College in San Francisco and had a daughter who’s now 4 years old, told him she was “working” and offered to have sex with him for $250.
Tsetse said he negotiated the price down to $200 and drove with Robertson to a nearby residential neighborhood, where they had sex in the back seat of his SUV.
Tsetse said he then dropped Robertson off near a park at Park Boulevard and Third Avenue at about 3 a.m.
He said he noticed some blood on Robertson but she told him that earlier in the evening she had gotten into an argument with a man who had pushed her out of a car but she was O.K.
Prosecutor Stacie Pettigrew told jurors in her opening statement last week that Robertson had been drinking with her boyfriend at the Lakeside Lounge at 338 E. 18th St but they got into an argument and Robertson walked off and went to a nearby bus stop, where she later got into Tsetse’s Toyota 4Runner SUV for an unknown reason.
Pettigrew said Robertson’s dead body was found a few hours later and DNA and blood evidence indicates that Tsetse had sex with her and killed her.
The prosecutor said that in addition, Robertson’s cellphone and jewelry were stolen.
Tsetse is charged with murder and the special circumstances of committing a murder during a rape and committing a murder during a robbery.
Tsetse’s attorney, Ernie Castillo, said in his opening statethat Tsetse couldn’t have been the person who killed Robertson because
doctors believe she died within an hour of being beaten and her body wasn’t found until about 6:30 a.m., more than three hours after Tsetse last saw her.
Under cross-examination by Pettigrew today, Tsetse admitted that his wife had been mad at him for having an affair with another woman and had told him earlier in the night that Robertson was killed that she didn’t want to see him anymore.
Tsetse said earlier in the evening he, his wife and their children had gone to a concert at the University of California at Berkeley but when they returned to their Oakland home his wife told him she was tired and didn’t want to have sex with him.
Tsetse said he later drove off because, “I just needed company.”
Tsetse said he lied in his initial statement to police by saying that he hadn’t had sex with Robertson because he didn’t want his wife to find out about the encounter.
“I was just trying to save my marriage,” Tsetse said. “I thought if I told the police my wife would learn about me being with a prostitute and she would leave me.”
Pettigrew alleged that Tsetse’s wife told him in a phone call that was recorded by jail authorities that it would create reasonable doubt for jurors if he said that Robertson was a prostitute, but Tsetse denied that his wife said that, even though the recording was played in court today.
Pettigrew will resume cross-examining Tsetse when his trial resumes on Tuesday. It’s expected that the prosecution and defense will
present their closing arguments on Wednesday.