The man accused of fatally shooting another drug dealer in the back and is claiming self-defense testified this afternoon.
Brian Bilal Starks who is charged with two others with the murder of Michael Wade, a Northern California resident, told about how he began selling small quantities of drugs before making big drug deals worth thousands of dollars.
He boasted about knowing different drug dealers and having as many as 60 customers who paid higher prices in Santa Barbara than Oxnard.
"You got a reputation of having high quality (drugs)," asked Stark's lawyer Zide Gay.
"Yeah," Starks replied.
Starks who is a tall, black man with a bald head resumes his testimony Friday morning.
Prosecutor Maeve Fox told jurors that Starks, Terrance Deshun Morrow and Corey Larmar Johnson tried to rob Wade, Kenneth Pecaro and Darrell Babagay who traveled to Oxnard to buy 6.6 pounds of cocaine for $55,500.
Fox said Starks who recruited Morrow and Johnson to pull off the robbery is a small-time drug dealer who never had that large amount of cocaine to sell to Wade and Babagay who were big-time narcotics dealers and gambling buddies.
Pecaro who shared a prison dormitory with Starks put him in contact with Wade and Babagay, court testimony indicated. Babagay had a "bad vibe" about doing business with Starks and didn't go with Wade or Pecaro to the South E Street address, staying behind at convenience store parking lot several minutes away, court testimony showed.
Pecaro was shot in the hand as a result of a struggle with Morrow for a gun.
Starks who was convicted for selling drugs in Santa Barbara in 2005 testified how he made a lot of money traveling almost daily from Camarillo to Santa Barbara to sell mostly powder cocaine, according to court testimony
Zide told jurors that Starks had a large quantity of cocaine to sell when he took Wade and Pecaro to negotiate the drug deal at an alley in the 1400 block of South E. Street in Oxnard.