SAN FRANCISCO – A federal jury handed down guilty verdicts in the cases against Robert Manning and Jamare Coats for their respective roles in the March 23, 2019, shootout at the Fillmore Heritage Center, announced United States Attorney Stephanie Hinds and Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Sean Regan. The verdicts follow a three- week trial before the Hon. William H. Alsup, United States District Judge.
At trial, the government submitted evidence that Manning, 28, and Coats, 26, both of San Francisco, were members of a street gang called Mac Block, prosecuted in this case as a racketeering enterprise under the Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering Activity (“VICAR”) statute. The gang operated in San Francisco’s Western Addition and its members engaged in racketeering activity, including murder, attempted murder, and robbery. The central issue at trial was the March 23, 2019, murder of a man in front of the Fillmore Heritage Center. The government demonstrated that on that day, Manning and Coats, each a felon at the time, possessed a firearm and ammunition that had traveled in interstate commerce. The government also demonstrated that Coats fired his pistol and committed murder in aid of racketeering activity, and that Manning aided and abetted the murder for an illegal gang-related purpose— i.e., maintaining and increasing their position in the Mac Block street gang. Coats and Manning provoked a deadly shootout which ultimately led to the firing of at least 24 shots on a crowed sidewalk in front of the Fillmore Heritage Center. Four innocent bystanders were struck by bullets, in addition to the shootout participant who died. One of the bystanders remains paralyzed from the bullet wound he received in the shootout.
On August 10, 2021, a federal grand jury handed down a second superseding indictment charging Manning and Coats with murder in aid of racketeering in aid in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(1) and being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). Pursuant to the jury’s verdicts today, each defendant has been found guilty of both crimes.
Both defendants are in custody. Judge Alsup has scheduled a sentencing hearing for October 11, 2022. The defendants face a mandatory sentence of life in prison for the VICAR murder charge. For the felon in possession charge, the defendants each face a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
This case was prosecuted by the Organized Crime Strike Force section of the United States Attorney’s Office and was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the San Francisco Police Department.