Tag Archives: Homicide in Berkeley

Op-ed: After fatal stabbing, be the change in South Berkeley

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On Sept. 19, a 72-year-old woman was brutally stabbed in front of the Berkeley Zen Center in South Berkeley in a botched carjacking. For several days she lay in the hospital sedated and unresponsive, with irreparable brain damage. Because of this, her family decided to take her off life support. Two-and-a-half weeks after the attack, she died.

I keep waiting for the outrage. After all, when a slashing happened at the scenic North … Continue reading »

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Crime

Emeryville woman dies weeks after Berkeley stabbing

Nancy Jo McClellan. Photo: Courtesy of McClellan family and friends/BPD
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A 72-year-old woman who was stabbed in South Berkeley in September has died after nearly three weeks in medical care, according to authorities.

Nancy Jo McClellan of Emeryville died Wednesday at approximately 2:30 a.m., said Berkeley Police Capt. Andrew Greenwood.

McClellan remained in the ICU following the stabbing, and died in a Berkeley care facility where she had been transferred Tuesday, according to police. Over the weekend, her family had decided to take her off life support when she failed to recover from the attack, according to community members familiar with the case.

Police will now seek murder charges against Kamau Berlin, the 18-year-old Richmond man authorities say was responsible for McClellan’s death. It is the second homicide in Berkeley this year.

“Our investigators are in touch with the district attorney’s office,” Greenwood said Wednesday morning. “We will do what we need to do to get more charges.”

Berlin was arrested by police the day of the stabbing, Sept. 19. He has been charged by the Alameda County district attorney’s office with attempted murder. He is a Berkeley Unified School District student, according to BUSD spokesman Mark Coplan.

Police say Berlin tried to steal McClellan’s Honda, then stabbed her twice in the throat when the car wouldn’t start. The assault took place at approximately 4:30 p.m. at Otis and Russell streets, not far from the Ashby BART station.

McClellan was head gardener at the Berkeley Zen Center at 1929 Russell St., adjacent to where she was attacked. Sojun Mel Weitsman, who runs the center, said there had been a wedding and reception that day, which McClellan had attended. She was on her way home when the confrontation took place. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Teen charged in stabbing of 72-year-old woman

A 2011 photograph of Kamau Berlin. Source: Facebook
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An 18-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder in the stabbing in South Berkeley last week that left a 72-year-old woman with critical injuries.

Police say Kamau Jawhar Berlin, of Richmond, tried to steal the woman’s Honda on Friday, then stabbed her twice in the throat when the car wouldn’t start. The assault took place at 4:30 p.m. at Otis and Russell streets, not far from the Ashby BART station.

According to court papers, a witness said she was walking by the car and saw a woman on the ground and bleeding from the face. A man was trying to start the Honda, but was unsuccessful.

The woman asked the witness for help, and the man picked her up and put her into the back of the car. He told the witness he was “just trying to help her,” according to police. … 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

18-year-old arrested in stabbing of 72-year-old woman

Image: Google Maps
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A teenager from Richmond was arrested after a stabbing in Berkeley on Friday afternoon that left a 72-year-old woman in critical condition.

The woman remained in a local hospital for treatment as of Monday, according to a police statement released just after 2 p.m.

Friday, police arrested 18-year-old Kamau Berlin near the scene of the attack, but his name was not released until Monday.

Police were called to the intersection of Russell and Otis streets at 4:30 p.m. Friday for a report of a disturbance, according to a prepared statement from police. Police were told a woman was yelling for help.  … Continue reading »

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Crime

Breaking: Berkeley police arrest suspect in homicide attempt of woman in 70s

Image: Google Maps
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A woman in her 70s was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries after an assault by a man who was arrested by police Friday, authorities said.

Police were called to the intersection of Russell and Otis streets at 4:30 p.m. for a report of a disturbance, according to a prepared statement released by police.

Police were told a woman was yelling for help. They arrived within minutes and saw a man flee on foot who matched the description provided by callers. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Breaking: Case dismissed in Jermaine Davis homicide

Jermaine Davis, via YouTube.
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Charges have been dropped in the case against a Pittsburg man accused of shooting a 26-year-old Berkeley man to death last summer.

Wednesday at 10 a.m., an Alameda County Superior Court judge agreed to drop the charges against 26-year-old Antiown “Twanny” York, and said he could go home.

York had been arrested by Berkeley police in January, and later charged with murder, in connection with the killing of Jermaine “Third” Davis in July 2013.

Prosecutor Autrey James, of the Alameda County district attorney’s office, asked the judge Wednesday morning to dismiss the case against York. James told the judge his office had been unable to locate a material witness in the case, and believed that witness to be outside the area. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley teen, recent grad, shot to death in Oakland

Ayana Dominguez (right) at a Berkeley Youth Alternatives Graduation program on June 6, 2014. Jamee Harris, her counselor, is on the left. Photo: Berkeley Youth Alternatives
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Ayana Dominguez, an aspiring hairstylist and 18-year-old recent graduate of Berkeley Technical Academy, was gunned down last week in a Wendy’s restaurant parking lot in Oakland, according to police.

Officers responded Thursday, July 10, to reports of gunshots in the Fruitvale district of East Oakland at 8:45 p.m. When they got to Wendy’s, at 3111 International Blvd., they found a man suffering from gunshot wounds. He refused an offer by police to take him to the hospital and went instead with a friend. He was Dominguez’s 22-year-old boyfriend, according to the Oakland Tribune. 

Police learned that a Berkeley teenager also had been shot and was taken to the hospital by friends. She later died of her wounds. Police identified her as Dominguez.

On Monday, friends and business associates of Dominguez were reeling from the news. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley woman to push for stiffer outcomes in justice system after brutal stabbing murder of daughter

Jessica Kingeter
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The Berkeley man convicted in the murder of a young woman he had met only hours earlier, in December 2012, is now facing 25 years to life in prison.

A jury found 36-year-old Jamaal Anthony Prince guilty of first-degree murder just before noon Thursday in the slashing and stabbing death of Jennifer “Jessica” Kingeter on Dec. 28, 2012.

Prince is scheduled for a sentencing hearing Sept. 5 at 9 a.m. in Department 10 before Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jon R. Rolefson. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Jury deliberations begin in killing of Berkeley woman

Jennifer "Jessica" Kingeter would have been 28 on Jan. 15, 2014. Photo: Rebecca Tolman
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Update, July 10, 12:06 p.m.: Just before noon, the jury returned a first-degree murder verdict, according to the Alameda County district attorney’s office. A sentencing date has not been set.

Original story, July 9: The man accused of brutally stabbing and slashing to death a young Berkeley woman just after Christmas in 2012 called his mother around the time of the fatal struggle, she said Wednesday.

“He said, ‘Mama, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,'” said Jacqueline M. Stewart outside an Oakland courtroom Wednesday afternoon, as the jury began its deliberations about the murder charge her 36-year-old son, Jamaal Prince, is facing. The trial began July 2.

Stewart said her son — who was born and raised in Berkeley, and had worked as a security chief at a Berkeley cannabis club on San Pablo Avenue before his arrest — then hung up. She began calling his friends to try to find him: “I knew something was wrong.”

Authorities said, in the early morning hours of Dec. 28, 2012, Prince stabbed to death 26-year-old Jennifer “Jessica” Kingeter, a hairstylist and Laney College student, who grew up performing as a ballet dancer at the Julia Morgan Theatre in Berkeley.

The defense attorney and prosecutor, who made their closing arguments Wednesday before lunch, have both asked the jury to come back with a guilty verdict.

Defense attorney Al Thews argued for a voluntary manslaughter conviction, and said Prince believed he was defending himself from Kingeter during the “terrible fight in that bathroom between the two of them.” He said Prince had followed Kingeter into a bathroom, expecting to have sex — to which Kingeter had not agreed — and that she had then stabbed him with a knife. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Trial begins in stabbing death of Berkeley woman

Jennifer "Jessica" Kingeter would have been 28 on Jan. 15, 2014. Photo: Rebecca Tolman
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The trial of a Berkeley man accused of stabbing to death a 26-year-old woman in late 2012 began Wednesday morning in Oakland Superior Court.

Wednesday afternoon, a key witness for the prosecution failed to appear, and Judge Jon Rolefson issued a warrant for his arrest. If Julius Johnson cannot be found, the prosecution plans to read his testimony from an earlier hearing into the record for consideration by jurors.

In brief opening statements, attorneys for both sides said they believe Jamaal Prince, 36, killed Jennifer “Jessica” Kingeter of Berkeley in the bathroom of an Oakland apartment in December 2012.

But, while Alameda County deputy district attorney Danielle Hilton told the jury Prince brutally attacked Kingeter after she refused to have sex with him, defense attorney Al Thews said Prince was high on cocaine and alcohol, and believed he was defending himself after Kingeter stabbed him in the leg. … Continue reading »

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Crime

‘Not guilty’ pleas entered in Berkeley hatchet killing

The man police believe was Berkeley's first homicide victim of 2014 lived in this building on Addison Street. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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The Berkeley couple accused of stabbing a West Berkeley man to death with a hatchet earlier this year entered not guilty pleas in court Monday.

Kneitawnye Trishawn Sessoms, 41, and Michael Diggs, 28, were charged with killing 54-year-old Sylvan Fuselier in February in his home in the 1100 block of Addison Street.

According to court papers, police found Fuselier deceased at noon on Feb. 28 after being called to do a welfare check. He appeared to have been stabbed with several sharp instruments. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Breaking: Charges filed against 2 in Berkeley homicide

The man police believe was Berkeley's first homicide victim of 2014 lived in this building on Addison Street. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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The Berkeley Police Department has arrested two people in the city’s only homicide so far this year, authorities said Wednesday.

Police have arrested Berkeley couple Kneitawnye Trishawn Sessoms, 40, and Michael Diggs, 28. Sessoms was arrested Monday, March 31, at 7 p.m., according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department. Diggs has been in custody since March 12 when he was picked up for a parole violation, according to the sheriff’s department.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office has filed murder charges against Sessoms and Diggs for the killing of 54-year-old Sylvan Fuselier in February, police said. Police discovered Fuselier’s body in his apartment in the 1100 block of Addison Street after getting called to check on him after concerns were reported about his whereabouts. … Continue reading »

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