Green gets 21 years after robberies, assaults of elderly

Jahton Green in 2008. Photo: Berkeley Police
Jahton Green in 2008. Photo: Berkeley Police

After denying his requests for a new trial and the replacement of his attorney, an Alameda County Superior Court judge sentenced Jahton Green on Friday to more than 21 years in prison in connection with two robberies and assaults in Berkeley on the same day in 2013.

Green was sentenced to 21 years and eight months in prison for the Aug. 22, 2013, robberies and assaults. The judge added time to the sentence because the victims were considered elderly under the law, and due to Green’s prior convictions.

On Aug. 22, 2013, authorities said Green robbed two men in Berkeley — ages 75 and 62 — as they were walking on the street in two different neighborhoods. He pushed one of the victims from behind before stealing his money, and struck the other one in the face, then hit and kicked him after he fell down, before stealing his cellphone and keys, according to court documents.

Green, 29, arrived in the courtroom Friday in shackles, and there were six deputies accompanying him, rather than the usual escort of one, because Green had reportedly been displaying violent tendencies that morning.


Green’s defense attorney filed a motion for a new trial, but the judge denied it. Green had also requested that he be provided with a new attorney, and questioned the effectiveness of the one he had been assigned. The judge denied both requests.

Green’s attorney objected to the sentence handed down by the judge, and asked for leniency, particularly because of Green’s family history, which included domestic abuse. According to the attorney, Green had witnessed his mother fatally stab his father.

The judge said, however, that the circumstances of Green’s crimes outweighed his family background, and that he could have chosen a more law-abiding path following an earlier and extended spate of violence against the elderly, but “he didn’t seem to learn.”

Green did not make a statement during the proceeding.

The judge recommended anger management and psychological counseling for Green while he is in prison.


Green has a long history of preying on the elderly, according to authorities and media reports dating back to 2008. In February of that year, Berkeley Police officers arrested Green and said he was responsible for eight “vicious attacks on elderly community members.” Two of those victims later died.

In one of those incidents, Green attacked a 78-year-old Berkeley man as he returned home: “The victim was left in a pool of blood. He suffered a broken hip, broken femur, (both of which required surgery), head injuries and permanent hearing loss.”

That man, Robert Whitman, died four months later due to bleeding in the brain. The Alameda County coroner’s office could not determine conclusively whether that injury had resulted from the beating in January. Whitman had identified Green as his attacker, and was in the midst of cross-examination by Green’s attorney at the time of his death.

According to the Oakland Tribune, Whitman, who had been a professor of Russian at Wesleyan, died of a “massive stroke” hours after he took the stand.

A 93-year-old victim, Tchang Hoang, died six months after the attack, in China, where he had been taken to be close to relatives, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Hoang had been in a coma for several months, according to KTVU. Relatives said they did not want an autopsy performed.


A judge later dismissed the charges against Green in that case because the defense had not been able to complete its cross-examination of Whitman.

Less than a month after his release from custody in August 2008, authorities said Green attacked a 68-year-old El Cerrito woman after following her home from the grocery store, according to the Chronicle.

Authorities said he broke into the woman’s home, and “beat her in the face with his fists when she tried to escape.” He took about $600 that she’d collected at her church, according to the Chronicle.

In June 2009, a Contra Costa County jury convicted Green of home-invasion robbery, burglary, elder abuse and assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, according to the Chronicle. He faced a sentence of up to six years and eight months. According to court documents, Green ultimately was sentenced to five years in prison.

Green “had recently been paroled” prior to the 2013 assaults and robberies, police said. He has been in custody at Santa Rita Jail since he was arrested in early September of that year.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Green with two felony counts of second-degree robbery, with special allegations related to the commission of violent crimes “on the vulnerable” due to the victims’ ages. He also was charged with felony elder abuse in connection with the first robbery. A jury found him guilty of those charges June 23.

Related:
Parolee charged in Berkeley robberies has violent past (11.14.13)
Oakland parolee charged after 2 robberies in Berkeley (09.24.13)

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