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Man convicted in 2016 murder-for-hire plot in Castro Valley

Rent dispute with former friend reportedly devolved into paying someone to shoot him
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A man has been convicted of first-degree murder for hiring someone to shoot and kill his former friend in Castro Valley in 2016, Alameda County prosecutors said Friday.

A jury found Albert Jones Jr., 40, guilty Thursday for the killing of 27-year-old Alexander Jacob Martinez, who officers found shot in the parking lot of a music studio on Lake Chabot Road on April 10, 2016.

According to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, a witness testified that someone approached Martinez, ordered him to lie on the ground, shot him and then fled.

Investigators learned Jones had taken out five life insurance policies and prepaid credit cards in Martinez's name in the five months before the shooting. When detectives interviewed him nearly a year after the killing, Jones said a dispute over rent led him to seek revenge by opening the policies, installing a GPS tracking device on Martinez's car and paying someone to shoot him, prosecutors said.

After the interview, detectives found the GPS unit underneath Martinez's car and determined he was inches away from the car and tracking unit when he was shot. The suspected shooter remains at large.

Along with the murder charge, the Alameda County Superior Court jury also found true the special circumstance enhancement that Jones committed the murder for financial gain, although Jones said he was ultimately unsuccessful in collecting the life insurance money, prosecutors said.

Jones is set to be sentenced on Jan. 7 and faces a possible term of life in prison.