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From the Office of the Alameda County District Attorney
Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney
July, 2010

In This Issue
Balanced Budget
Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device Law
Q & A regarding Ignition Interloc Devices
People v. Hunger
HEAT Watch Wins Award
Deputy DA Mark Jackson to State Bar Executive Committie
Consumer Alert
From the Courtroom
Quick Links
Point of View
Criminal Docket Finder
Inmate Locator

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Board of Supervisors Adopt a Balanced Budget

The Board of Supervisors adopted a balanced budget on June 26, 2010.  District Attorney Nancy O'Malley presented her budget, which met the target reductions, to the Board and County Administrator. Ms. O'Malley underscored the increase in the Office's workload in just the first 6 months of 2010. She also spoke about the outstanding staff of attorneys, inspectors and support staff that makes up the DA's Office. As she stated to the Board, "The employees of the Alameda County District Attorney's Office are not just employees; we are woven into the fabric of our communities like the threads in a tweed garment." Highlighting her staff's commitment to community service,  Ms. O'Malley told the Board about the nearly 100 community, state, national and professional boards, as well as outreach and education programs, on which DA employees serve and/or have involvement.

 

January 1, 2010 - June 14, 2010  the first 6 months of this calendar year:

 

 5,288 Felony cases (new cases/PV in lieu)

(as compared to 9,701 felony cases for all of 2009)

 

69 FELONY JURY TRIALS in first 6 months

 

10,939 Misdemeanor cases (new cases/PVs in lieu)

 

82 MISDEMEANOR TRIALS in first 6 months


873 Preliminary Hearings (PX) on Felony cases

(737 PXs from Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland alone)

(compared to 667 Preliminary Hearings from

1/1/09-6/15/09  (same time frame but last year)

 

348 Consumer Fraud, Environmental Protection & Insurance Fraud/Worker Protection cases opened

 

Victim-Witness Assistance Division

Number of New Victims         5,312

(compared to 9,438 victims for the entire year 2009)

V/W Services Provided         21,826

Claims Processed                   1,399

 

Petitions filed against Juvenile Offenders:  2,033 & 70 trials

 

$3,379,340.68 in RESTITUTION ORDERS in first 6 months

          ($3,012,217.35 direct restitution to victims)

          ($   194,114.33 restitution to State of CA for money paid

on behalf of victims

Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device Law Takes Effect July 1

July 1, 2010, marks the first date of a five-year pilot program mandating the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on every vehicle owned or operated by anyone convicted of driving under the influence in the counties of Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare. AB 91, which created the program, was authored by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, and signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2009.


phillipsOver the past 12 months, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office has charged over 7,000 defendants in cases in which driving under the influence was the primary offense (Vehicle Code Sections 23152(a) and (b) and 23153(a) and (b)).  The Office has also secured convictions in 30 DUI jury trials in the past year.  According to DMV statistics, in 2008 (latest statistics available), 1,355 vehicle occupants were killed and 28,463 injured in alcohol-involved collisions in California.


The California Department of Motor Vehicles will oversee the implementation of the Pilot Program and will evaluate its effectiveness. DMV will promulgate regulations and develop programming to notify offenders about the IID requirement following a DUI conviction.  It will also collect proof of installation documents and a service fee, and monitor the installation and maintenance of the IID.  This system will  track exemptions for those who do not own or have access to a vehicle.  According to the CHP, the overall goal of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of the IID in reducing DUI recidivism.


The new law prohibits an offender from being issued or reissued a driver's license by DMV following a suspension or revocation for any DUI violation in a pilot county that occurs on or after July 1, 2010, until an offender provides proof of IID installation and pays an approximately $45 administrative service fee, in addition to meeting all other reinstatement requirements.

Questions and Answers Regarding the Ignition Interlock Device

dmv

The California Department of Motor Vehicles and the California Highway Patrol have compiled lists of frequently asked questions regarding the new Pilot Program. 

 chp logo


How long will the IID be required to stay in a person's car after a DUI conviction?

The length of time is dependent upon the number of DUI convictions and whether the offense was a misdemeanor or felony DUI:


Misdemeanor:

1st Offense: 5 months.

2nd Offense: 12 months.

3rd Offense: 24 months.

4th (or subsequent) Offense: 36 months.

 

Felony:

1st Conviction: 12 months.

2nd Conviction: 24 months.

3rd Conviction: 36 months.

4th (or subsequent) Conviction: 36 Months.

 

What if I drive a motorcycle?

The bill prohibits an individual who is subject to IID restrictions from operating a motorcycle during their IID restriction period.

 

How many other states have similar laws?

The following states have programs similar to AB 91 in that the DMVs (i.e., not courts) require a period of ignition interlock device use prior to reinstating the driver license:

Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico and Washington.

NOTE:  In Florida, an offender with a  BAC of .15 or more or who had a minor in the car at the time of violation receives an IID term of 6 months for the first offense; 12 months for the second, and two years for the third.

 

If someone is convicted, will they receive a list of auto shops that can install a device.

A list of auto shops in Alameda County will be provided.

 

What are the options for a first-time DUI offender as far as purchasing the ignition locks?

Any individual whose DUI conviction (first-time & multiple offenders) occurs in a pilot county (Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Tulare) on or after July 1, 2010, must install an IID and submit proof of IID installation to DMV (DL 924) and pay a $45 administrative service fee.  Offenders may go to any IID installer certified by DMV, even one outside the county of conviction.  The pilot requires manufacturers to offer offenders reduced-price IID installation based on federal poverty level guidelines.  The pilot also specifies that offenders who do not own or have access to a vehicle may qualify for an exemption from the IID installation by submitting the Exemption for Ignition Interlock Device (DL 4055B) form within 30 days of DMV's notification of IID installation.  First-time DUI offenders can opt to wait until the APS/DUI suspensions end and all reinstatement requirements met and then provide DL 924 and pay $45 fee for IID restriction or they can opt to obtain restrictions that allow them to drive to/from work and to/from program in conjunction with their IID restriction (provided all requirements are met, including DL 924 and $45 fee).

 

Is the state investing in this pilot program?  If so, how much and where is that money coming from?

Funds are being provided by a $345,000 grant from the state's Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These are federal dollars.

 

Although the legislation also requires a follow-up evaluation of the effectiveness of the IID in reducing DUI recidivism, which will be done by DMV's R&D Unit, no funds are being provided for that purpose.  The OTS funds will be used to cover costs related to the development of programming, regulations, and related procedures. 

 

What was the law that went into effect in July 2009 that directed the DMV to send out letters to those convicted of DUI?

SB 1388 (2008). It requires DMV to immediately impose an IID restriction to the driving privilege of a person convicted of driving while suspended or revoked for a DUI conviction(s) ( 14601.2, 14601.4, or 14601.5). The department is required to notify the person of the requirement to install the IID upon receipt of the court abstract for a conviction of ( 14601.2, 14601.4, or 14601.5).

 

How will the process work as far as payments, will users pay directly to the company for the installation and each time they have to be calibrated?  

Users will pay costs directly to the IID installers for installing the devices and having them calibrated by the installers every 60 days or fewer.

 

Will they need to bring them in for calibration? 

Yes, the users will need to bring the vehicles to the installers for each calibration, install, or removal.

 

What happens if the user doesn't get it calibrated on time?  

If the user does not return the vehicle for a scheduled calibration appointment, the installer contacts the user to reschedule the appointment as soon as possible. After a third missed appointment, the installer will complete and send to DMV a Notice of Non Compliance Ignition Interlock.

 

Who will be checking that calibrations are done on a timely basis?  

Initially the installers and then DMV, as described above.

 

What is the penalty for not getting them done?

Upon receipt of a notice of non-compliance from the IID installer, DMV will pause the IID restriction period on the user's driver record (i.e., stop counting days of compliance) and send a notice to the user advising that person that he/she is not in compliance and the IID restriction has been paused until further action is taken to get back into compliance.

 

The restriction countdown is paused on the driver's record and he/she will need to return to compliance before the restriction period countdown will begin again.

 What's New
People v. Hunger

On June 16, 2010, a court furlough day, about twenty members of the District Attorney's Office spent their lunch break to take part in the first annual "People v. Hunger" Volunteer Day at the Alameda County Community Food Bank. The Food Bank is the principal source of free food distribution in the County and supplies food to over food bank group250,000 County residents each year -- about 1 in 6 people. Through a network of 275 member agencies - food pantries, soup kitchens, child-care centers, senior centers, after-school programs and other community-based organizations - the Food Bank distributes enough food for 300,000 meals weekly. The Food Bank's facilities are located on Edgewater Drive in Oakland and include an enormous warehouse where food is stored, sorted and prepared for delivery each day.


food bank group 2 

DA volunteers were given the task of sorting through large bins of stone fruit to remove the spoiled or over-ripe pieces.  Executive Director, Suzan Bateson, remarked: "We owe your group a huge thank you! We're honored and thankful that you did the deep dive into the nectarines. They are about $3-4 a pound, and most low-income areas don't even have supermarkets so they are a tremendous gift to the people we serve. Thank you so much for your hearts and your hands!"

H.E.A.T. Watch Program Wins National Award

phillipsThe National Association of Counties awarded the Alameda County DA's H.E.A.T. Watch (Human Exploitation and Trafficking) Program its 2010 Achievement Award.  The annual Achievement Award Program, begun in 1970, is an awards program that recognizes innovative county government programs.  


Learn more about the H.E.A.T. Watch program on the District Attorney's Website.


Deputy District Attorney Mark Jackson Appointed to The State Bar Executive Committee
mark jacksonAlameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley and the Alameda County District Attorney's office are pleased to announce that Deputy District Attorney Mark Jackson has been appointed to The State Bar's Criminal Law Section's Executive Committee. The California State Bar Board of Directors named Mr. Jackson to this three year position on June 1, 2010.
 Consumer Alert

Deputy District Attorney Publishes Law Review Article

Deputy DA David G. Lim has authored a law review article published in the May/June, 2010 issue of Clearing House Review; Journal of Poverty Law and Policy.  Mr. Lim's article, "Local Prosecutions of Real-Estate Fraud as a Means to Achieving Social and Economic Justice for Low-Income Victims and Communities: A Case Study", offers valuable information and insights into the legal and social issues surrounding the current real estate fraud crisis in low-income neighborhoods.

 From the Courtroom
Verdicts

June 2010
Felony Verdicts

  •  On June 30, 2010 a jury returned a verdict of guilty as charged in the trial Defendant Mark Thibodeaux.  He was convicted of a violation of  Penal Code Section 288.5, continuous sexual abuse of a minor under the age of 14.  The sexual assaults occurred in Fremont over several years in the late 1990's while the defendant was the live-in boyfriend of the victim's mother.   The Prosecutor was DDA Stacie Pettigrew.


  • On June 23, 2010, a jury convicted defendant Douglas Jerome Stevenson of four felony counts of spousal battery, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and one count of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury.  Stevenson assaulted his wife by using an extension cord and steel toed boots to whip and kick the  victim, Lisa Evins, over a series of dates in 2009 and 2010 in their Oakland home.  The Prosecutor was DDA Sharon Carney.

  • On June 11, 2010, a jury convicted James Handlin of driving under the influence and found true the allegation that he refused to take a chemical test. On January 10, 2009, the defendant was pulled over at 4:30 a.m. for cutting across three lanes of traffic to make an illegal right-hand turn from the far left lane. Upon being stopped, the defendant smelled like an alcoholic beverage and displayed several physical signs of intoxication. He was then administered a series of field sobriety tests, performed poorly and was placed under arrest. The officer told him that he was required to take a chemical test. The defendant became combative with the officer at this point, refusing to take a test. The Prosecutor was DDA Scott Ford.

  • On June 17, 2010, Krista Willis, was convicted of a felony, Failure to Maintain a Dangerous Animal, Penal Code Section 399(b) stemming from an incident on September 4, 2007 in which her pit bull attacked long-time Denny's restaurant worker, Trinidad Delgadillo, who was emptying the trash in Hayward. His injuries were so serious, he required surgery. One hour before the Denny's incident, the same dog mauled Willis's next-door neighbor in Fremont causing serious bodily injury. Willis was not home during the attack on the next-door neighbor, however, her boyfriend, Charles Shelby, who was at home, gave the dog to a friend who delivered it to Willis. Four months before these two maulings, the dog had bitten another neighbor which caused the dog to be classified as a Potentially Dangerous Animal by the City of Fremont. The prosecution presented evidence that after each of the attacks in September 2007, the defendant tried to conceal the dog. Willis's boyfriend, Charles Shelby, was also charged with the offense based on the mauling of the next-door neighbor. A hearing to schedule Shelby's trial is set for July 14, 2010. The Prosecutor was Karen Bovarnick.

  • A jury convicted three co-defendants of multiple felonies on June 10, 2010. The jury found defendant Joseph Harrison guilty of an assault with a firearm and personal and intentional discharge of a firearm on Oakland Police Officer Patterson and guilty of willful, deliberate and premeditated attempted murder of the witness to the assault on Officer Patterson. They also found Harrison guilty of possessing cocaine base for sale. The shooting at Officer Patterson took place in Oakland on August 27, 2009, and the subsequent crimes in the days following.

    Co-defendant Marcus Moore was found guilty of willful, deliberate and premeditated attempted murder of the witness to the assault on Officer Patterson. The jury also found true that Marcus Moore personally and intentionally discharged a firearm causing great bodily injury to the witness. Lastly, the jury found Marcus Moore guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

    The jury found co-defendant Lonnel Moore guilty of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

    The jury was deadlocked 10-2 for guilt on the counts charging Freeman Griffin with willful, deliberate and premeditated attempted murder of the witness to the assault of Officer Patterson, personal and intentional discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury to the witness and being a felon in possession of firearm.  The Prosecutor was DDA Colleen McMahon.

  • On June 9, 2010, defendants Sheridan Smith and Willie Williams were convicted of first degree murder and a robbery special circumstance in the May 28, 2005, stabbing death of 39-year-old Vincent Simien. Smith was also convicted of forcible rape of the victim's girlfriend, who witnessed the murder. According to evidence presented at trial, the defendants walked to a homeless encampment in West Oakland, woke up a group of four people, and began harassing them. The taunting began by the duo robbing one man of $10 and accelerated it into a physical assault that culminated in Smith stabbing Simien in the chest with a cane sword -- a long, wooden weapon with the outward appearance of a walking cane, but with a hidden 16-inch sword blade. Smith then summoned Simien's girlfriend over to him. Smith took the woman to an unoccupied side of the homeless encampment, where he forcibly raped her. Both defendants face sentences of life without the possibility of parole at the August 27th sentencing. DDA Melissa Krum prosecuted the case.

  • On June 3, 2010, a jury convicted Allen Thomas of first degree murder and arson of an inhabited dwelling house. The jury also found to be true the special circumstances of robbery, burglary, and rape by instrument. Allen Thomas stabbed and beat his 89-year old great-aunt, Amanda Pierre, to death in her home on September 14, 2007. He then set her house on fire as he fled the murder scene. At the time of the crimes, Ms. Pierre had an active restraining order against defendant based upon an earlier violent incident. The Prosecutor was DDA Annie Saadi.

 

Misdemeanor Verdicts

  • On June 21, 2010, a jury found Victor Pavlov guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol and found true the allegation that he had an excessive blood alcohol level. On November 12, 2009, the defendant, who was intoxicated, drove his car into a parked car in Berkeley. Police found him in the driver's seat at the accident scene. A test revealed his blood alcohol level to be .16/.18. The prosecutor was certified District Attorney Law Clerk Mary Kate Sullivan.


  • On June 15, 2010, a jury convicted Brittany Baker of driving under the influence and found true an excessive blood alcohol clause. On December 5, 2009, at 2 a.m., Baker left a bar and tried to drive onto the 880 in Oakland. She could not navigate the on-ramp and crashed her car into the metering light. The Prosecutor was certified DA law clerk Keydon Levy.


  • On June 15, 2010, a jury convicted defendant Alvaro Escamilla of driving under the influence, driving with a blood alcohol level greater than .08, hit-and-run and driving on a revoked or suspended drivers license. The trial facts revealed that at 12:14 am on October 2, 2008, after drinking tequila at two bars with his buddy, the defendant caused a three-car collision on Interstate 880N at Winton in Hayward. Immediately after the accident, defendant got out of the car and fled on foot, choosing to ignore the other cars and passersby who had stopped to help. The citizens asked him not to leave but he ignored them by jumping over a wall and fleeing. His description was given to CHP officers who arrived and located the defendant sitting at a nearby bus stop. Though Escamilla claimed he was just waiting for the bus and had not been in a collision, he was identified by the citizens as the driver. Escamilla's blood alcohol level was .19%, over twice the legal limit. The Prosecutor was DDA Warren Ko.


  • On June 10, 2010, a jury found defendant Rashad Robinson guilty of Penal Code Section 422, criminal threats, a misdemeanor. On April 15, 2010, the defendant, a parolee, entered a convenience store on 65th Ave. & International Blvd. in Oakland talking on his cell phone. The defendant sat down in the store, did not attempt to buy anything and was asked to leave multiple times by the cashier. After ten minutes of refusing to leave, the cashier came from behind the counter to ask the defendant to leave. Robinson took a fighting stance and then pointed a "finger gun" at the victim and said, "I will shoot you in the face" and words to that effect multiple times. The victim called the police, defendant left and was arrested outside the store. The Prosecutor was DDA Eric Swalwell.

 Q & A
"I was arrested for DUI before July 1, 2010 but won't be convicted until after July 1.  Will I still be required to install the IID?"
Yes, you will.  The requirement applies to all drivers convicted on or after July 1, 2010.
Do you have a question for the District Attorney's Office?
The District Attorney's Office receives many calls and e-mails from the public asking a wide variety of questions.  Each month, we will print one of these questions along with the answer.  We hope that many readers will find the information useful.

Please feel free to e-mail a question of your own that you would like to see answered here.

 Until Next Issue...
We hope you found this newsletter informative.  Please visit our web site at alcoda.org for updated news items as well as more detailed information regarding the District Attorney's Office. 
Nancy E. O'Malley
Alameda County District Attorney