Man Sentenced in Fatal 1996 Shooting of Shopkeeper

Charzel Shears, 36, shot and killed Skyline shop owner Sleiman 'Pops' Hallak in April 1996

By Monica Garske
|  Wednesday, Dec 18, 2013  |  Updated 8:54 PM PDT
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San Diego's Unsolved Murders

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A man was sentenced to three life terms, plus 18 years in state prison Wednesday for the 1996 shooting death of a shopkeeper at a market in San Diego’s Skyline area.

Charzel Shears, 36, will spend the rest of his life in prison for the shooting death of Sleiman “Pops” Hallak and the attempted murder of two others at the Moonlight Market, San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis confirmed.

In April 1996, when Shears was just 19 years old, he ran into the Moonlight Market wearing a ski mask, armed with a gun.

Hallak, who owned the shop, was inside the market with two other men. Shears demanded money and then fatally shot Hallak three times.

He also shot at the two other men in the shop, a cigar salesman and an employee, but they were not injured in the robbery.

More than 17 years after Hallak’s killing, Shears was convicted by a jury in November of one count of murder with the special circumstance of robbery, two counts of premeditated attempted murder and of using a gun in the commission of the offenses, Dumanis said.

Hallak was a popular and beloved business owner in San Diego and Dumanis said Wednesday’s sentencing brings some closure to the victim’s family in this long case.

“Nothing can bring back the life of Sleiman “Pops” Hallak, but today’s prison sentence is a measure of justice for the victim’s family and the defendant is being held accountable for his crimes,” she said.

Jail booking records indicate Shears has been housed at the George Bailey Detention Facility since August 2012 on the murder and attempted murder charges.
 

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