OAKLAND — An Oakland man who was acquitted of murder but convicted of manslaughter has been sentenced to 11 years and eight months behind bars for killing an El Cerrito man in 2019, court records show.
Jevanni Knight, 26, argued in his July trial that he shot and killed 41-year-old Michael Sadberry as Sadberry attacked Knight’s childhood friend. He was transferred to North Kern State Prison on Sept. 15, and will be eligible for parole in April 2028, according to prison records.
Jurors convicted Knight of voluntary manslaughter and illegal gun possession, but acquitted him of second degree murder, court records show. At Knight’s August sentencing, his attorney argued his should receive a three-year prison term, which would have led to his immediate release from jail.
“At the time of the offense, Mr. Knight was a youthful offender and described to the jury his experience growing up in East Oakland, being exposed to gun violence and seeing loved ones getting killed,” defense lawyer Miki Tal wrote in a sentencing memo, which also concluded that Knight could not be sentenced to any longer than six years for the manslaughter count under state law.
Sadberry, 41, was shot and killed around 8:48 p.m. June 21 at the intersection of 73rd and Bancroft avenues in East Oakland, not far from the Eastmont police substation. Sadberry was in a car that was involved in an apparent road rage incident with Knight — who was 22 at the time — and another man, authorities said. Tal wrote in the sentencing memo that the altercation started after Sadberry nearly ran over Knight’s friend as they crossd the street.
Police said at the time that the fight ended and Sadberry was walking away when Knight shot him without provocation.