Omar Upham Jr. charged with First Degree Murder and Attempted Murder in Roxbury Lanes shooting
Omar Upham Jr. a previously convicted felon was charged on June 5 with the First Degree Murder of John Leota and the attempted Murder of Cheng Oung on May 27 at the Roxbury Lanes near White Center. He was also charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the First Degree, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the First Degree,
From the charging documents:
In this case, the defendant went to the Roxbury Lanes with the clear intent to kill John Leota. After first casing the neighborhood of Leota’s mother’s house, the defendant drove to the Roxbury Lanes, walked straight in and opened fire. Leota, recognizing his assailant, attempted to flee but was shot twice from behind in the crowded casino. Hung Nguyen, a patron of the casino, was sitting at a card table when one of the shots the defendant intended for Leota struck him in the back of the skull. He instantly fell to the floor and never recovered consciousness. Another bullet tore through the abdomen of Chheng Oung.
Searches of the defendant’s home and car turned up three separate firearms, including the murder weapon, and an extended magazine for a fourth. The defendant is a convicted felon, with a history of committing armed robberies and assault. In 19-1-06156-8 (the case which led to his pursuit of Leota) he pled guilty to Robbery in the First Degree for a robbery at a Metro PCS store in which his codefendant was armed with a firearm; as part of that agreement the State agreed not to file a further Robbery in the First Degree charge arising out of SPD 19-445381. In cause number 18-8-00805-2 (JUV) the defendant pled guilty to Robbery in the Second Degree for assaulting a former fellow student and stealing his backpack. In 18-8-00334-4 (JUV) the defendant pled guilty to Theft in the First Degree, reduced from Robbery in the First Degree, for assaulting a stranger and stealing his cell phone and wallet. The defendant also has a prior conviction for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the Second Degree, from cause number 19-8- 00004-1 (JUV). The defendant also has prior convictions for Assault 4 and one prior conviction for Harassment, all committed while still a juvenile. The defendant was in custody on 19-1- 06156-8 until October 2022. Only a few weeks later the first attack targeting John Leota took place.
The defendant acted in utter disregard for the safety of anyone present in his single-minded attempt to murder Leota in his workplace. He was unsuccessful in that attempt, which was possibly his third such attempt in the last eight months, although he did kill one innocent bystander and injure another. With such apparently easy access to firearms and complete disregard for the orders of courts and his community custody conditions, this court has every reason to believe that if released on any amount of bail the defendant would immediately make further attempts on Leota’s life. One innocent person has already lost his life and another is gravely injured; others will follow if the defendant is released into the community. No amount of bail or conditions of release can give this court confidence that Leota and the community will be safe if the defendant is out of custody. The defendant should be held without bail.