Oakland: Suspect in 2020 stabbing gets 11 years for 9th felony conviction since 1999

Posted on September 18, 2023

OAKLAND — In a plea deal with Alameda County prosecutors, a Bay Area man has been sentenced to 11 years in state prison for stabbing another man to death in 2020, court records show.

Jamel Morris, 49, pleaded no contest in June to voluntary manslaughter in the death of 36-year-old Brian Drohan. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dropped a murder charge against him. He was formally sentenced in July and transferred to state prison last August, records show.

Drohan was stabbed to death at around 1:20 p.m. October 26, 2020 in the 2400 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way, a short distance from a homeless encampment where both men lived off and on, police said at the time. The stabbing was reportedly over a dispute involving one of their possessions.

Morris rode up to Drohan on a bicycle, stabbed him repeatedly, and rode off, police said. Drohan died later that day at a hospital.

Morris was identified as a suspect fairly quickly, but it took until September 2022 for police to track him down and arrest him. Police identified him as the stabber through witness statements and video surveillance footage, according to court records.

Judge Kimberly Colwell recommended Morris receive drug treatment in prison, according to the sentencing form. Victim restitution has not yet been determined.

The manslaughter conviction is Morris’ ninth since 1999. According to court documents, he received prison terms for three of them, including a 1999 gun possession conviction and two drug convictions in 2002 and 2007.

Staff writer Harry Harris contributed reporting

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