Tag Archives: Alameda County

Crime

Man found guilty of attempted manslaughter after brutal beating, high-speed car chase in Berkeley

Duane Nailor (via Facebook)
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Update, March 9, 1:15 p.m. Nailor was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison, according to Bay City News. Said his mother in court, “We know he went over the top, but we’d like to see some light at the end of the tunnel.”

Original story, March 4, 9 a.m. A man who led police on a high-speed car chase through Berkeley that reached up to 90 mph, after trying to kill a man by beating him with a metal pipe in a prolonged attack, is scheduled to be sentenced next week after being found guilty of attempted manslaughter, mayhem and other charges.

Duane Nailor, 56, was arrested by Berkeley officers after the chase — on Oct. 23, 2013 — when they found him trying to hide near the site of his totaled SUV by covering himself in sand and other home renovation materials, according to court testimony.

Police said Nailor sped away from the scene of the beating, in front of the downtown Berkeley Bank of America, struck a police cruiser by the Public Safety Building, then sped up Martin Luther King Jr. Way into North Berkeley before crashing into a tree on the Alameda near Hopkins Street. The impact of the crash ripped open the right side of the 2003 Ford Explorer.

In February, a jury convicted Nailor of attempted voluntary manslaughter, mayhem, assault with a deadly weapon and evasion of a peace officer. The conviction came two days after he withdrew his plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. He is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.

According to court transcripts from Nailor’s preliminary hearing in 2014, two men described how they had approached Nailor to bum a cigarette the night of the attack after he pulled up to the corner of Center Street and Shattuck Avenue, at the Bank of America building.

One of the men, Deshaun Montgomery — a homeless man who had been staying at the shelter across from Berkeley High and Civic Center Park — said he had seen Nailor around town, and they had exchanged a few words. He was familiar with Nailor and his vehicle, which he’d been driving around Berkeley, packed with stuff. An officer testified it looked like Nailor was living in the SUV; it was jammed with so many items, no one else could fit into it. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Green gets 21 years after robberies, assaults of elderly

Jahton Green in 2008. Photo: Berkeley Police
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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 cell phone 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. … Continue reading »

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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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Update, Jan. 5, 2015, 12:30 p.m. Cousins Maurice Thomas Jr. and Jevon Calland were sentenced Monday, Jan. 5, in connection with the killing of 34-year-old Zontee Jones in February 2013. As had been previously agreed to, Thomas received 21 years and Calland received 16, said Thomas’ defense attorney Ernesto Castillo.

Original story, Sept. 24, 2:54 p.m. 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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