Tag Archives: Berkeley crime

Crime

Williams decides not to testify; defense rests

Rene C. Davidson Courthouse. Photo: Melati Citrawireja
Print Friendly

After suddenly announcing Wednesday that convicted murderer Darnell Williams Jr. would testify on his own behalf, the defense team backtracked Thursday morning with the brief announcement that it would instead rest its case.

The disappointment in the courtroom was palpable, as relatives and supporters of Williams’ two murder victims, along with other attorneys and interested spectators, had come to court to hear what he had to say.

At least some members of the jury appeared miffed they had made the trip to court for nothing.

“I knew your sucka ass weren’t going to get up there,” the sister of Anthony Medearis III — one of Williams’ two victims — yelled at him as she left the courtroom. Court staff told her she could not return for the remainder of the trial.  … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Crime

Breaking: Convicted murderer says he’ll take the stand

Darnell Williams Jr. mugshot. Photo: ACSO
Print Friendly

Minutes after a forensic psychologist described the extensive and longstanding impulse-control problems exhibited by convicted murderer Darnell Williams Jr., he suddenly announced through his attorneys that he plans to take the stand in his own defense.

His attorneys said it wasn’t the first time they had discussed the subject, but were not expecting the announcement Wednesday, just as they were about to rest their case in the “penalty phase” of the trial.

At the end of testimony, the Alameda County jury that found Williams guilty earlier this month of two murders will make a sentencing recommendation to Judge Jeffrey Horner: either the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The two-person defense team had just completed questioning the woman they said would be their final witness — forensic psychologist Gretchen White — when the attorneys and judge said they needed to have a brief discussion out of the presence of the jury.

Read complete coverage of the case.

The judge had already told jurors they would be excused until Tuesday morning, when attorneys would present their closing statements. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Crime

Convicted killer: ‘I been in the streets since I was 9’

Darnell Williams Jr. mugshot. Photo: ACSO
Print Friendly

Despite knowing he would be arrested as a result, the father of a convicted murderer came to court Tuesday to ask for mercy for his son, who could face the death penalty after being found guilty earlier this month of gunning down two people, including a child, in 2013.

Darnell Williams Sr., 49, told the Alameda County jury charged with recommending a sentence for his son that he had not been a good father. He was locked up more than a dozen times, was in a prison gang called the Black Guerrilla Family, and has been addicted to drugs, including crack cocaine. He dropped out of high school after 10th grade.

The elder Williams, who is currently on parole, said he wanted to share “anything I can say that could save my son. I’m here to see and apologize to my son… for not being a good dad. And I was a drug addict and I stayed in prison.”

He said he missed his son’s birth because he was “on drugs real bad,” and regretted missing his son’s life and his football games.

“I never wanted [him] to be nothing like me,” he said.

The elder Williams said he expected to be taken into custody — on a warrant for a parole violation — after his testimony. He was on the stand for less than 15 minutes. After he stepped down, he looked at his son and mouthed the words, “Love you, man.” Officers from the district attorney’s office took the elder Williams into custody outside the courtroom after he hugged his brother, who had testified earlier in the day. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Crime

Attorney: Williams says ‘death sentence is fine with him’

Darnell Williams Jr. mugshot. Photo: ACSO
Print Friendly

A Berkeley man found guilty of two murders earlier this month, who could face the death penalty, asked an Alameda County Superior Court judge Monday to dismiss the jury and make his own ruling on sentencing.

Both attorneys for 25-year-old Darnell Williams Jr. strongly advised him not to waive his rights to a jury trial, they said. But Williams had other ideas.

“He would like the proceedings to end,” defense attorney Deborah Levy told Judge Jeffrey Horner on Monday afternoon. He said he would waive his rights and accept the judge’s sentence, said Levy, adding, “The death sentence is fine with him.”

Defense attorney Darryl Billups told the judge he had advised Williams he “didn’t think it was a good idea” to waive the jury trial, which is designed to lead to a sentencing recommendation for the judge. The jury is slated to decide between the death penalty and life in prison without parole.

The jury was not present when the attorneys made the request to Horner on their client’s behalf. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cal student sexually assaulted in Oxford parking lot

UCPD badge
Print Friendly

A UC Berkeley female student was sexually assaulted in the parking lot at the corner of Hearst and Oxford on Sunday, May 15 at around 2:30 p.m.

The victim was walking through the lot when she was grabbed and sexually assaulted by a male suspect. The UC Police Department and Berkeley Police Department are jointly investigating the crime.

There is no suspect description available at this time.

If you have any information about this crime, contact UCPD’s Criminal Investigation Bureau on (510) 642-0472 … Continue reading »

Tagged , , ,

After armed robbery, car-jacking, reckless driving, police arrest 2 Berkeley men with loaded handgun, puppy

IMG_0285
Print Friendly

Exclusive: Berkeley Police arrested two Berkeley men after an incident early Wednesday morning in which a victim was robbed at gunpoint, forced into a bathroom in his own home with the suspect, and then had his car stolen, according to authorities.

BPD received a call at 7 a.m. about a robbery and car-jacking in the 2200 block of Seventh Street (between Bancroft and Allston Way) in West Berkeley, according to Officer Byron White of the Berkeley Police Department.

White said a male 24-year-old victim told officers that he had just come home, to the house he shares with his 77-year-old grandmother and a 22-year-old companion of hers. The victim was driving his grandmother’s car. After getting out of the car, he was confronted by a man holding a handgun who emerged from from the shadows near another apartment building.

The suspect demanded the victim give him his keys and cellphone. He then demanded to use his restroom. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

Two men robbed at gunpoint on Grizzly Peak Boulevard

Grizzly Peak Blvd near Signpost 14. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Print Friendly

Two men were victims of an armed robbery near Signpost 14 on Grizzly Peak Boulevard Monday at 10:40 p.m., according to authorities.

The UC Police Department said the two victims, a male student and a male friend not affiliated with the university, were standing outside of their vehicle when they were approached by two suspects, both of whom were holding hand guns. They demanded the victims’ property which the two men gave them. One of the victims suffered minor injuries during the encounter.

The suspects were last seen driving southbound on Grizzly Peak. UCPD officers searched the area but could not locate the suspects or their vehicle, which is described as a sedan, color unknown. … Continue reading »

Tagged , ,

Young man shot multiple times in San Pablo Park

Authorities are standing by in San Pablo Park for the arrival of a patient from Alta Bates Hospital. Photo: hfidek
Print Friendly

There was a shooting in San Pablo Park in Berkeley Tuesday morning, according to authorities.

Officer Byron White of the Berkeley Police Department said that the shooting took place at around 11 a.m and it resulted in one victim. The victim, a young man estimated to be in his 20s, was shot multiple times and was transported to a local hospital. His condition is unknown, Officer White said.

The victim was found outside the restrooms in the park, adjacent to the basketball courts.

The suspect is described as a young man estimated to be in his 20s, light-skinned, with short hair and about 6 ft tall. He was wearing a cream-colored shirt and baggy jeans. He was last seen heading east on Ward Street from Park Street, according to Officer White. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,
Crime

‘Penalty trial’ begins in Berkeley-Oakland murder case

Darnell Williams Jr. mugshot. Photo: ACSO
Print Friendly

Darnell Williams Jr., found guilty earlier this month of two murders and several special circumstances, had a history of violent attacks both in and out of prison that make the death penalty the appropriate sentence for him, the prosecution said Monday.

In the next phase of the case, attorneys are set to present evidence to show aggravating and mitigating circumstances they hope will help an Alameda County jury decide what sort of sentence to recommend for 25-year-old Williams. He could face the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In 2009, nearly four years before the 2013 murders of Alaysha Carradine and Anthony “Tone” Medearis III, Williams tried to shoot down a childhood friend on Oregon Street after his own father ordered him to do it, prosecutor John Brouhard told the jury Monday during opening statements.

Read complete coverage of the case.

That was followed by three attacks on fellow inmates while he was locked up, the violation of his parole terms due to gun possession once he was released, and the discovery of a long shank in his cell during a surprise search once he was sent back to jail after his arrest in September 2013, Brouhard said.

Williams had been out of prison for about a month, following the earlier shooting attempt in Berkeley, when he gunned down 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine at an Oakland sleepover.  … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Crime

Crime in Berkeley: Man asks for his own arrest, gun found in car after medical cannabis buy, fraud arrest, more

Selected calls to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. Scroll down for detailed maps. Click the map above for the list. See the map key here.
Print Friendly

This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Share photos, videos and tips by emailing crime@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook and TwitterDon’t assume someone else will alert us. We rely on readers to help us stay informed.

SNAPSHOT From April 28 to May 4, there were reports of two robberies14 burglaries11 assaults or batteriesfour weapon-involved calls and one sexual assault, according to CrimeMapping.com and other BPD data. There were also seven stolen vehicles17 disturbances and 20 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. An assault, a burglary, a vehicle theft and a sex crime were reported on CrimeMapping to the University of California Police Department (UCPD). Arrested or charged individuals are presumed innocent. Find the April 28 to May 4 round-up below several more recent items.

Recent public safety news

GUN ARREST AFTER CANNABIS DISPENSARY PICK-UP On May 8 at about 8:45 p.m. a BPD officer stopped a car at Telegraph Avenue and Parker Street that had “marijuana smoke emanating from the windows,” said BPD Sgt. Andrew Frankel, department spokesman. The officer spoke with four people in the vehicle “who said they were in Berkeley to pick up medical marijuana at a dispensary.” The officer searched the car and found a loaded handgun in the driver’s purse. She said she recently bought it online and that it was unregistered, according to BPD. The 28-year-old Antioch woman, Sarah Hezlitt, was arrested. She has been released from custody and is scheduled to enter a plea Tuesday at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.

ARREST ME, PLEASE? A man called into the BART Dispatch Center on May 7 at about 3:20 p.m. “and stated that he had a stay away order from BART and wanted to be placed under arrest.” The man, who was calling from the downtown Berkeley BART station, was placed under arrest and taken to the Berkeley City Jail where he was booked in connection with the stay-away order. Stephan Benjamin, 35, remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail. He appears to have been sentenced, according to sheriff’s office records online. He’s not scheduled for another hearing until April 2017.

COCAINE SALES AND FIREARM ARREST Berkeley police arrested Leon Johnson, 34, on April 27 in connection with a slew of drug and firearm possession violations. Johnson, who was arrested in Oakland, remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $240,000. Among other issues, Johnson was arrested on suspicion of possession for sale of cocaine, transporting a controlled substance for sale, and sales of more than 28.5 grams of cocaine; being a felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a loaded firearm as well as numerous other firearm-related violations; and receiving known stolen property worth more than $950, identity theft and possessing the identification of 10 or more people with intent to defraud. He is scheduled for a motion hearing May 20 at the René C. Davison Courthouse in Oakland. Berkeleyside has requested additional information from the district attorney’s office. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , ,
Crime

Crime in Berkeley: Head-butt battery, lost quadcopter, donut theft, ‘intent to inhale’ arrest, 19 stolen vehicles

Selected calls to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. Scroll down for detailed maps. Click the map above for the list. See the map key here.
Print Friendly

This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Share photos, videos and tips by emailing crime@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook and TwitterDon’t assume someone else will alert us. We rely on readers to help us stay informed.

SNAPSHOT From April 21-27, there were reports of seven robberiesnine burglaries13 assaults or batteriesfive weapon-involved calls and one sexual assault, according to CrimeMapping.com and other BPD data. There were also 19 stolen vehicles12 disturbances and 28 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. One assault was reported on CrimeMapping to the University of California Police Department (UCPD); we’ve filled out the blotter with tidbits from the UCPD crime log. Arrested or charged individuals are presumed innocent. Find our April 21-27 round-up below.

Recent public safety news

A 20-year-old UC Berkeley student reported at 2:39 a.m. April 29 being the victim of extortion via the internet, UCPD said.

Someone stole a $2,000 Zeiss microscope lens from Hildebrande Hall. It was reported to UCPD on May 5 at 1:32 p.m.

BPD announced that its jail booking and arrest logs are now available to the public via the city of Berkeley’s open data portal. The portal, which went live about a year ago, makes various city data accessible to the public for analysis. (Read more about the portal in past Berkeleyside coverage.) BPD says “This open data portal will offer greater transparency by allowing members of the community the ability to look at both arrest and booking data over a 30 day period. Read the full Nixle alert. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,
UC Berkeley

Man takes plea after beating 2 with bat at Berkeley frat

Police police cars outside the fraternity where a 20-year-old was found dead Nov. 9. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Print Friendly

Two years after being charged with attempted murder in connection with the beating with a metal bat of a pair of UC Berkeley students, an Oakland man has entered dual “no contest” pleas for assault with a deadly weapon.

Frank Paul Watson, 25, was arrested after the attack on April 27, 2014, which left two members of the Zeta Psi fraternity with significant injuries. Both were struck once in the head with the metal bat. One of the young men, Thayer White, suffered a traumatic brain injury. The other ended up needing reconstructive surgery to repair injuries to his face and jaw.

According to court papers, witnesses testified during the preliminary hearing — in December 2014 — that there had been a party that night at Zeta Psi, 2728 Bancroft Way. The party started Saturday night, April 26, and carried on into the early morning of Sunday. Three fraternity brothers, including the one who needed reconstructive surgery, testified about their memories of that night.  … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , ,
Crime

Guilty verdicts in Berkeley-Oakland death penalty case

Alaysha Carradine, 8, and Anthony "Tone" Medearis, 22, were both killed in fatal shootings in 2013. Photos: Courtesy of family
Print Friendly

After nearly a month of testimony, followed by less than two full days of deliberations, an Alameda County jury brought back a series of guilty verdicts Friday afternoon in connection with two fatal shootings in 2013 that took the lives of an 8-year-old girl at an Oakland sleepover and a 22-year-old Berkeley father.

Scroll down for videos of family members reacting to the verdicts.

The jury found Darnell Williams Jr. guilty of all nine counts against him, including two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. The guilty verdicts included three special circumstances — lying in wait, murder during the course of a robbery or attempted robbery, and multiple murders — that made the case eligible for the death penalty.

The jury is set to return May 16 to hear additional information from attorneys and consider the sentence in the case. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,