Tag Archives: Alameda County

Crime

Cousins take manslaughter plea in Berkeley shooting

A small memorial was set up in West Berkeley near the site of Zontee Jones' death earlier this year. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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The case against two cousins charged with shooting to death a man in Berkeley last year resolved Wednesday with a manslaughter plea, the same week the case was set to begin trial.

Maurice Thomas Jr. and Jevon Calland, both 22, had been charged with killing 34-year-old Zontee Jones in Berkeley in February 2013 during a confrontation on Delaware Street not far from San Pablo Avenue.

The men pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter before Alameda County Superior Court Judge Stuart Hing, and are scheduled to return to court for sentencing Jan. 5.

Thomas — whom authorities say fired the fatal shots — faces 21 years in prison. Calland faces 16 years. Conflicting evidence has, however, been presented in previous court hearings that casts some doubt on exactly what happened. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Dispute over woman led to Berkeley man’s murder

A small memorial was set up in West Berkeley near the site of Zontee Jones' death early last year. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Two cousins are slated to face murder charges in the shooting death in West Berkeley last year of Zontee Jones after an Alameda County Superior Court judge’s ruling this week.

After a short hearing, which included testimony from two witnesses Wednesday morning, Judge Trina Thompson said the district attorney’s office had presented enough evidence for the murder case against 22-year-old Maurice Thomas Jr. to move forward to trial.

Authorities allege that Thomas shot Jones, 34, on Feb. 4, 2013, at Delaware Street west of San Pablo Avenue after an argument between Jones and Jevon Calland, a mutual acquaintance and the first cousin of Thomas. Calland, 21, has also been charged with murder, and was ordered last July to face those charges. He entered a “not guilty” plea a short time later. He had been arrested in Antioch several weeks prior.

Thomas was arrested by police in San Diego in connection with two drug-related violations July 4, and has been in custody since then. He had been picked up near the crime scene and held by police for several days immediately after the Jones murder, but ultimately was released, according to court records. Both men are being held without bail in different areas at Santa Rita Jail, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department.

According to testimony this week by Calland’s sister, Jewaya Calland, who is also Thomas’ first cousin, Calland and Jones had been involved in an on-going dispute about Calland’s girlfriend. That woman had dated Jones approximately five years prior, according to court testimony last year. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Man arrested after impersonation at Berkeley bank

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A Hercules man has been charged with identity theft and forgery after walking into a Berkeley bank and pretending to be someone else earlier this month, authorities said.

Randeep Randhawa, 30, reportedly entered the Chase Bank at 2390 Shattuck Ave. on Jan. 6 with a doctored driver’s license and tried to change another man’s account information, according to court papers.

Authorities said Randhawa gave the teller a color photocopy of a California driver license as identification, along with bank account information, and asked that changes, including phone numbers and debit cards, be made to his account.

He also asked that she activate a card he received in the mail, according to a report filed by the Berkeley Police Department. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley police arrest 3 with heroin, loaded assault rifle

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A recent Berkeley Police Department probation search in Oakland netted heroin, counterfeit money, cocaine and two firearms, one of which was an assault rifle, and the other of which was a handgun that had been reported stolen in Vallejo, according to court documents.

On Jan. 3, Berkeley officers served a search warrant in the 9800 block of MacArthur Boulevard in Oakland at the apartment of Javon Coggins and Yasmine Johnson. They also served a probation search of Heshimu Courtney, who was inside their home when police arrived.

Inside the apartment, police found a loaded black assault rifle, an unloaded Phoenix Arms .22 caliber handgun, and .44 grams of loose suspected heroin, according to court papers. The handgun had been reported to the Vallejo Police Department in 2012 as stolen. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Alleged yoga class burglar arrested in Berkeley

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A man authorities say is responsible for a series of burglaries over the past year in Berkeley at four yoga studios, a capoeira gym and a restaurant has been charged with six felony commercial burglary counts by the Alameda County district attorney’s office.

According to court documents, Berkeley police say 20-year-old Christopher D. Newton stole unattended wallets, often while participants took classes.

Police said Newton would then use the pilfered credit cards to make purchases before victims knew to cancel the cards. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley men arrested, linked to pills, 26 pounds of pot

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According to court documents, a traffic stop Dec. 3 was the beginning of an investigation that ultimately uncovered more than 500 prescription pills and 17 pounds of marijuana in a home in the 2200 block of Sixth Street, along with another nine pounds of marijuana discovered during the vehicle stop.

At approximately 5:45 that night, Berkeley Police officer Chris Flores wrote that he stopped Joshua Carl Hamburg, 22, after seeing him run a stop sign at Seventh and Hearst streets. During the stop, Flores said he smelled “a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.”

He asked Hamburg about the smell “and he showed me a bud of marijuana that he had on top of his middle console,” wrote Flores. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Judge says alleged Ashkenaz shooter must stand trial

Ashkenaz's rustic-looking building on San Pablo. Photo: Jeremy Brooks
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After nearly two days of witness testimony, the man arrested earlier this year in the shooting that sent two Ashkenaz employees to the hospital with serious injuries was ordered to face the nine felony charges brought against him by the Alameda County district attorney’s office.

The preliminary hearing for Christopher James Washington of Rodeo took place Tuesday and Wednesday at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland with Alameda County Superior Court Judge Richard Couzens presiding.

Authorities say Washington is one of two men who robbed Ashkenaz during a crowded 40th anniversary party March 15, shooting two long-time employees in the process. But witnesses for the prosecution said this week that the men began their criminal activities that night with a robbery and sexual assault in Oakland. A victim in that case tracked her stolen phone into Berkeley, where she said she spied Washington and his associate just before the Ashkenaz robbery, then again minutes later as they ran up Gilman Street pursued by a Berkeley Police cruiser. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Teen arrested after robbery tied to medical cannabis buy

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A Berkeley teenager is facing two felony counts after authorities say he robbed a 31-year-old Davis woman during a drug deal in Berkeley involving medical cannabis.

Jerrone Horn, 19, was arrested Dec. 5 in the 1300 block of Delaware Street after police tied him to the crime using a telephone number.

According to court documents, on Nov. 16, a victim reported being robbed by people with a gun at Allston Way and Bonar Street shortly before 7 p.m. The suspects had responded to a Craigslist advertisement related to the sale of medical cannabis.

The victims — a man and woman — initially reported the loss as an iPhone because they were afraid of getting in trouble for selling marijuana, authorities said in court papers, “but felt obligated to report the fact that the suspects were robbing people with guns.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

Authorities link woman to $19,000 Berkeley make-up heist

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A San Pablo woman is in custody after police linked her vehicle to the theft of more than $19,000 in make-up products from the MAC Cosmetics store on Berkeley’s Fourth Street.

Kristen Hale, 32, is set to appear before an Alameda County judge Thursday for the continuation of her pre-trial hearing in connection with identity theft, receiving stolen property and possession of a controlled substance charges.

According to court documents, surveillance footage from the burglary, on Nov. 19, led police to Hale. A Berkeley Police officer who reviewed the footage said it showed two people get out of a car just before 4 a.m., use a rock to break into the MAC store at 1850 Fourth, and steal the merchandise.

Police got the vehicle’s license plate from the footage, and found that the vehicle was registered to Hale. … Continue reading »

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Crime

2 felons with assault rifle charged in Berkeley burglary

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Two four-time felons charged earlier this month with a recent Berkeley burglary are set to go before an Alameda County judge for a pre-trial hearing Thursday morning.

Antonio Perry of Berkeley and Antoine Ford of Antioch were arrested Nov. 26 after a report of a “hot prowl” burglary in Berkeley in the 2400 block of Haste Street, just east of Telegraph Avenue, during which a suspect smashed a glass door to an apartment while the unknowing resident was asleep inside.

Berkeley Police said, in court documents, that a witness reported seeing one of the men, identified as Ford, enter a home on Haste while a man identified as Perry acted as a lookout and, later, a get-away driver.

The witness told police that Ford broke the apartment door just before midnight, then left in a vehicle driven by Perry. Police responded to the area but were unable to find them, and the apartment resident told police that nothing had been taken.

Less than two hours later, the witness again called police to report that the car, a Ford Focus, and several occupants had returned to the block. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Sanity hearing set after near-deadly beating in Berkeley

After a car chase with the Berkeley police in the early hours of Oct. 23,  the attempted murder suspect crashed this 2003 Ford Explorer into a tree on the Alameda, north of Hopkins Street. The vehicle’s right side was sheared open by the impact with the tree. Photo: Berkeley Police
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A Texas man charged with trying to kill another man by beating him with a pipe-like object in downtown Berkeley, then hitting a police cruiser and crashing into a tree while fleeing authorities, has been scheduled for a mental health review by the court in December.

Duane Nailor, 54, was scheduled to appear in Superior Court in downtown Oakland on Wednesday and was set to enter a plea.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office was unable to say last week whether Nailor actually entered a plea during that hearing, citing the unavailability of information in the court’s computer system, and an inability to reach the deputy district attorney who is handling the case.

According to the Alameda County sheriff’s department, Nailor remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 19 for a hearing to determine whether he is mentally fit to face charges.  … Continue reading »

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Crime

Parolee charged in Berkeley robberies has violent past

Jahton Green in 2008. Photo: Berkeley Police
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An Oakland parolee charged in two Berkeley robberies in August has a lengthy and violent history of attacking elders, according to authorities and media reports dating back to 2008. Two of his alleged victims died following the attacks, and he had only recently been released from prison prior to the most recent incidents.

Jahton Green, 27, is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Nov. 15 at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in downtown Oakland. Due to his status as a parolee, he is not eligible for bail. He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

On Aug. 22, 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 cell phone and keys, according to court documents.

Green’s cell phone records placed him in Berkeley on the night of the incidents above, police said, “very close to the robbery locations.” Green denied being in Berkeley, according to court records. He was arrested Sept. 4 after police identified him as the suspect in the two cases and completed their investigation.

According to court documents, Green had recently been paroled for the 2008 robbery of an elderly woman in El Cerrito. … Continue reading »

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Crime

2 charged with robbery after drug deal gone awry

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The Alameda County district attorney’s office has charged two Richmond men with robbery after they allegedly stole marijuana from a third man during an attempted drug deal near the Berkeley Pier, according to court documents.

The robbery took place Oct. 4 when the three met up for the deal, which had been arranged in advance by phone, according to authorities. During the deal, one of the buyers, later identified as Jamon Baptiste Ward, grabbed the marijuana from the seller while the other buyer, identified as Cortez Barber, “simulated a gun underneath his shirt,” police said.

The seller backed away and the duo fled in a vehicle from University Avenue and Seawall Drive, where the meeting had taken place. Police said the seller took a photo of their license plate as they drove off at 5 p.m.

Police said Ward’s cell phone number matched the one used to arrange the deal, and that the vehicle used in the getaway was registered to Ward’s mother. … Continue reading »

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