Tag Archives: Zontee Jones

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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‘Ceasefire Walk Against Violence’ comes to West Berkeley

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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Residents, officials and members of community and religious organizations will walk through West Berkeley on Thursday night to take a stand against violence and remember three men killed in shootings earlier this year. 

Councilwoman Linda Maio’s office helped organize the walk in conjunction with Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Berkeley Congregations Organized for Action (BOCA) and other anti-violence groups. Everyone is welcome.

Three of the city’s four homicides this year have taken place in West Berkeley. In February, Zontee Jones, 34, was shot in broad daylight on Delaware Street and San Pablo Avenue. In August, on the other side of San Pablo at Delaware, Dustin Bynum, 24, was shot at close range in front of Bing’s Liquors. Then, in September, 22-year-old Anthony Medearis Jr. died in a shooting near Eighth and Camelia streets.

“Our West Berkeley residents are deeply shaken,” wrote Maio in a statement about the walk planned for Thursday, Oct. 3. “I think of this as a broad expression of concern and reclaiming our streets for safety.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley homicide suspect arrested in San Diego

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A 21-year-old man named by authorities as one of two people responsible for the killing of Zontee Jones in West Berkeley in February was arrested in San Diego earlier this month.

According to San Diego Police Lt. Jorge Duran, Maurice Thomas Jr. was arrested in San Diego on July 4 on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.  … Continue reading »

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Breaking: Man shot and killed on Derby Street in Berkeley

Police are investigating the second homicide of the year on the 1800 block of Derby Street, just west of Martin Luther King Jr. Way
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Police are on the scene investigating a homicide on the 1800 block of Derby Street in Berkeley, just west of Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

The police began to receive multiple calls reporting gunshots at 6:52 p.m. Wednesday night. When they arrived on the scene a man was found down on the sidewalk with several gunshot wounds. He was transported to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Berkeley Police Investigation team has closed off Derby Street between MLK and Grant.

No information about the victim or possible suspects is being released at this time. … Continue reading »

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2 men named in Berkeley murder case; details emerge

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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A man arrested Sunday in connection with Berkeley’s only homicide of 2013 has been charged with murder by the Alameda County district attorney’s office, and authorities have named a second man, arrested earlier this year, in connection with the case.

Police arrested Jevon Calland, 21, in connection with the Feb. 4 shooting of 34-year-old Zontee Jones, on Delaware Street just west of San Pablo Avenue.

A second man, Maurice Thomas, also known as Maurice Thomas Jr., was listed on court documents along with Calland. Thomas is linked to a woman police arrested, but later released, on suspicion of homicide in late February. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley police make arrest in Zontee Jones murder

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Police have arrested an Oakland man in connection with the premeditated killing of Zontee Jones, who was fatally shot Feb. 4 on Delaware Street near San Pablo Avenue in West Berkeley. Jones, 34, was the city’s first homicide of 2013.

Jevon Calland, 21, was arrested June 16 on suspicion of murder. He’s being held without bail at the Berkeley Jail, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department, and is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday afternoon.

On Feb. 4 at approximately 11 a.m., Berkeley and Albany police officers responded to multiple reports of shots fired, with a victim down near the intersection of Delaware and San Pablo. They found Jones suffering from gunshot wounds. He was taken to Highland Hospital where he was pronounced dead. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Police arrest Oakland woman in Berkeley homicide

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Update, March 4, 3:35 p.m. Berkeleyside has removed the name of the woman who was arrested because of the decision to release her without charging her last week.

Update, Feb. 27, 10:50 p.m. According to the Alameda County district attorney’s office, the woman was released Tuesday by the Berkeley Police Department under Penal Code section 849(b). Charges were not filed Wednesday and she did not appear in court. She had been arrested Monday on a Ramey warrant. No further information was available from authorities.

Original post, Feb. 26, 4:43 p.m. The Berkeley Police Department has arrested an Oakland woman on suspicion of homicide, but details from authorities otherwise remain scant.

Police arrested the 21-year-old woman on Monday on a warrant related to a Berkeley homicide, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Jennifer Coats said Tuesday afternoon that the department cannot release information about which homicide the woman is connected with so as not to jeopardize the department’s on-going investigation.

Investigators continue to follow up on leads related to the case, she said.

The woman is being held without bail at the Berkeley Jail and is scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland. … Continue reading »

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West Berkeley neighbors ask for answers after homicide

Councilwoman Linda Maio organized a community meeting over the weekend in her district following the homicide earlier this month of Zontee Jones. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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About 25 neighbors came together at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church over the weekend to share concerns and ideas about safety in west Berkeley following the shooting death earlier this month of Zontee Jones.

Councilwoman Linda Maio organized the meeting with members of the Berkeley Police Department to make sure residents in her district could connect with authorities and share their worries and suggestions.

Berkeley Police Lt. Dave Frankel told those in attendance, who sat in a circle in a community room belonging to Good Shepherd, that Jones’ death, which represented the city’s first homicide of the year, was not random.

“Somebody had something against somebody else, and they dealt with their issue directly,” he said. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Police make arrests related to 2 Berkeley homicides

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 Berkeley Police Department has confirmed that an arrest has been made following the fatal shooting of Zontee Jones on Feb. 4.

Details, however, were scant. Police declined to provide information about the arrest, such as the identity of the person who was arrested, or what the arrest was for.

“I can’t release anything other than (that) an arrest was made,” said Officer Stephanie Polizziani, a police spokeswoman, via email. “To maintain the integrity of their investigation, I can’t release any other details at this point.” … Continue reading »

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Police name Zontee Jones as year’s first homicide

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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Police have released the name of Berkeley’s first homicide victim of 2013, identifying him late Wednesday afternoon as Zontee Jones, 34, of Berkeley.

Jones was killed shortly after 11 a.m. Monday on Delaware Street just west of San Pablo Avenue in west Berkeley. Witnesses said he was shot while walking down the street, and that a gold-colored car that may have been connected to the crime sped off afterward.

Capt. Andrew Greenwood of the Berkeley Police Department said investigators have been working on this case “virtually non-stop since Monday morning when it occurred.” … Continue reading »

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Man shot dead in Berkeley, first homicide of 2013

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By Lance Knobel and Emilie Raguso

Update, Feb. 5: The name of the victim of the Feb. 4 fatal shooting on Delaware Street has not been released by authorities, but in an article in the Oakland Tribune he was identified as 34-year-old Zontee Jones. Jones’ girlfriend, Teena Alexander, told reporter Doug Oakley that the slain man lived in Berkeley and Richmond, and worked as a maintenance man at her apartment building on Delaware.

Update 4:29 p.m. Police have released a statement indicating that the victim suffered from multiple gunshot wounds. He was 34. His name has not been released by police “out of respect for those family or friends that still need to be notified of his passing.”

Police ask witnesses with information about this incident to call the department’s homicide detail at 510-981-5741, or the department’s non-emergency number, 510-981-5900. Tipsters who wish to  remain anonymous can call the Bay Area Crimes Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477). … Continue reading »

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