Did You Know ...

May/June 2011       

masthead
From the Office of the Alameda County District Attorney

Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

Guilty Verdicts in People v. Yusuf Bey IV and Antoine Mackey

On June 9, 2011, a jury returned guilty verdicts against Yusuf Bey IV, the former leader of Your Black Muslim Bakery, and his bakery associate, Antoine Mackey.

 

Bey IV and Mackey were found guilty of two counts of first degree murder with special circumstances for the slaying of prominent Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey and Michel Wills, and Bey IV was also convicted of a third count with special circumstances for the murder of Odell Roberson. Both men will be sentenced to life without parole.  

 

DA O'Malley answering questions from Press
DA O'Malley fields questions from the press following the verdicts

District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley said, "The investigation and prosecution of these violent crimes has been a top priority of my Office, beginning with my predecessor, District Attorney Tom Orloff. With today's verdicts, justice was served, and we hope that the outcome will provide some closure to the families of the victims murdered by defendants Mackey and Bey.

 

"These verdicts also stand for our abiding conviction that violence against the free voice of the press will not be tolerated in our society," DA O'Malley said.

 

Read more...

DA Launches H.E.L.P. 

HELP program flyerAlameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley announced the creation of a new initiative entitled the Homeowner Education and Loan Protection (H.E.L.P.) Program.  

 

H.E.L.P.is designed to address crimes involving real estate on a multi-disciplinary, multi-system collaborative basis using education, prevention, and prosecution to target real estate fraud.

 

For more information on H.E.L.P., download our flyer, and brochures in English and Spanish.

Consumer Alert:
DA Warns of Principal Loan Reduction Scam

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley is warning the public to watch out for a new real estate scam in which homeowners are asked to pay upfront fees to companies that offer to negotiate with banks to reduce or eliminate existing mortgages in exchange for a new loan at a lower interest rate.  

 

Charging advanced fees for any type of loan modification or loan reduction service is against the law in California, and is punishable by criminal charges or civil fines.

 

Read more about the scam and how to identify it...  

 

If you feel you've been a victim of this type of fraud, or know someone who has, please contact Deputy District Attorney David Lim on (510) 777-2234 or at David.Lim@acgov.org.
Neighborhood Leadership Institute 
DA O'Malley with graduates of the Neighborhood Leadership Instuitute
DA O'Malley and staff with graduates of the Neighborhood Leadership Institute

District Attorney Nancy O'Malley welcomed the first graduates of the Neighborhood Leadership Institute to the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse on June 2, 2011.   

 

The Institute is a community-based training and mentoring program in Oakland. Throughout the 12-week course, participants develop skills in leadership, public speaking, community problem solving and experience in facilitation.  

Truancy Court

 

2011 Truancy Court Celebration
Celebrating the year's achievements in Truancy Court with Judge Rhynes

On June 17, 2011, charges were dismissed

against the parents of 30 school-aged children after a successful completion of probation.   


The DA's Truancy Program is in its 8th year
and consistently sees remarkable results in attendance gains.

The children were honored for their good attendance and academic
achievements with new backpacks and a celebration in the courtroom. 

Read more about our Truancy Program in the SF Chronicle...   
Brothers Found Guilty of Three Counts First Degree Murder in Thanksgiving Triple Slaying

On May 31, 2011, a jury found Asmerom Gebreselassie and Tewodros Gebreselassie guilty of three counts of first degree murder with special circumstances, premeditated attempted murder, kidnapping and false imprisonment. In September, they will be sentenced to life without parole. 

 

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Joni Leventis, who commented, "I am extremely pleased with the jury's verdict. I only hope that seeing the defendants held responsible for these horrific crimes will help the Mehari family begin to find some closure. I want to thank the jury for their diligence and attention throughout this long, complicated trial."

 

District Attorney O'Malley stated, "Justice has been served in this tragic case. We hope that the victims and their family, friends and community will continue on their process of healing following these terrible events."

 

 Read more...
2011 Law Enforcement Torch Run

DA's Office raises money for Special Olympics  


DA's Office Torch Run Team
The DA's Office Torch Runners, 2011 

In the early hours of June 21, 2011, members from of our Office laced up their sneakers to participate in the 2011 Law Enforcement Torch Run to salute the Special Olympics Northern California Summer Games. 

 

Our team received the Flame of Hope from the Alameda Police Department in East Oakland, and took the torch on a 4-1/2 mile route through Oakland.


DDA Ford Receives Award
DDA Butch Ford receives Heavy Hitter Award
Chief Assistant DA Dunleavy, Assistant DA Green, DDA Ford and DA O'Malley.

Deputy DA Amilcar "Butch" Ford was honored with the DA's Award that recognizes a prosecutor who consistently demonstrates excellence in representing the Office and the victims we serve.  

 

Since June 2009, Butch has successfully tried to verdict 19 cases, including 6 murders.     

 


From the Courtroom


Felony Verdicts - June 2011 

  • On June 29, 2011, a jury found Daniel Leonard guilty of first degree residential burglary. Just before 6:00 p.m. on the night of December 17, 2010, an alert citizen called 911 after observing 2 figures climbing into his neighbor's house through a side window. When ACSO deputies responded to the call, they observed 2 men walking away from the front of the house carrying property stolen from the home. When the men detected the presence of the deputies, they dropped the property and fled. ACSO deputies thus set up a perimeter around the burglarized home. The Defendant was found within the perimeter and identified by one of the deputies. The prosecutor was DDA Mas Morimoto.  
  • On June 28, 2011, a jury convicted defendant Santos Ascencio of two counts of aiding and abetting forcible rape in concert.  These crimes occurred on August 24, 2009, when Ascencio aided and abetted two men while they gang raped a highly intoxicated 21 year old woman, Maria Doe, in a converted storage room of a residence on 38th Ave., in the Fruitvale District of Oakland. During the rape, the defendant threatened the victim, and shoved a black shirt in her face to stop her from screaming.  Jorge Ramos, one of the men who raped Maria, was arrested at the scene and pled guilty to the crimes before the defendant was arrested nearly a year after the incident.  Ramos testified at trial and told the jury that the defendant restrained Maria while her clothes were pulled off, forced her legs open, held her down while the two men  raped her, shoved a t-shirt in her mouth to stifle her screams, and threatened to hurt her and kill her when she did scream. The third suspect remains at large. Sentencing is set for August 18, 2011.  The Prosecutor was DDA Edward Vieira-Ducey.  
  • On June 28, 2011, a jury found Rosa Hill, 36, and her mother Mei Li, 57, guilty of the first degree murder of Selma Hill and the premeditated attempted murder of Eric Hill. Mei Li was also convicted of first degree burglary. The murder victim, 91-year-old Selma Hill, lived with her grandson, Eric Hill, 37, and his two year old daughter, Elizabeth. Elizabeth's mother is defendant Rosa Hill. Following the dissolution of Eric Hill and defendant Rosa Hill's relationship in 2008, a court granted Eric Hill full custody of Elizabeth . The defendant Rosa Hill was unhappy with this arrangement and plotted with defendant Mei Li to physically take Elizabeth back from Eric Hill. On January 7, 2009, when Eric Hill entered his home, Rosa Hill and Mei Li ambushed him with a taser and baton and threatened him with a loaded gun. Dublin Police responded to the disturbance and searched for the missing Selma Hill. Police found Selma Hill's body in a back shed, stuffed into a garbage can. She had been tased, beaten, and strangled. The defendants will be sentenced on August 29, 2011. The prosecutor was DDA Casey Bates.
  • On June 28, 2011 a jury found Derrell Davis guilty of first degree murder with an enhancement for using a firearm causing death as well as being a felon in possession of a firearm. On November 14, 2008, the defendant Davis, Jamerl Taylor, Terrell Fisher and 16 year-old Ronnie G. were driving on I-580 in Oakland. As the driver, Mr. Taylor, exited the freeway at Seminary Ave., Davis shot victim Grier three times in the back of the head. Mr. Taylor stopped the car and pushed Mr. Grier's dead body into the middle of the street. The Defendant's brother, Mr. Fisher, testified to seeing his brother shoot victim Grier. Mr. Taylor was originally charged with murder but pleaded guilty prior to the trial to a lesser-included offense, voluntary manslaughter, and also testified that Davis shot Ronnie G. Sentencing will take place on September 16, 2011. The Prosecutor was DDA Eric Swalwell.
  • On June 9, 2011, a jury convicted German Morales of two counts of Insurance Code 1871.4(a)(1), workers' compensation insurance fraud, one count of Penal Code 550(b)(3), insurance fraud, and one count of Penal Code 664/118, attempted perjury. Read more....
    Sentencing is set for July 26, 2011. DDA John Mifsud prosecuted the case.  
  • On June 1, 2011, a jury found Vicente Buenrostro guilty of two counts of continuous sexual abuse and found true the enhancement that he abused multiple victims. He was also convicted of oral copulation of a person under 14 and sexual penetration by a foreign object. Between 1997 and 2008, the defendant and his wife were regular babysitters for the two victims of these crimes, and the sexual abuse took place while they were at the defendant's home in Hayward. The defendant Buenrostro faces a maximum 15 years to life when he is sentenced on July 12. The prosecutor was Senior DDA Susan Torrence.
  • On June 1, 2011, a jury found defendant Ivan Ordaz, a gang member, guilty of first degree murder and second degree murder, with special circumstances, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. On September 1, 2007, Ordaz shot at two men in separate incidents. At 2:30 am, victim Alan Mejia was driving on Bancroft Ave., near 90th Ave., in Oakland. The defendant and his fellow gang members surrounded Mejia's car and began attacking the passengers. The defendant mistakenly believed that Mejia was a rival gang member. The defendant and other gang members pulled guns and shot at Mejia multiple times, killing him. That evening, defendant Ordaz was in a car with other gang members when he saw the second victim, Tomas Melero-Smith, standing outside a residence with two friends near 94th Avenue and Bancroft, in Oakland. The defendant mistakenly believed that Melero-Smith and his friends were rival gang members. The defendant got out of the car and approached the men with a handgun. The men ran up a driveway and Ordaz fired several times, killing victim Melero-Smith. The prosecutor was DDA John Brouhard.
  • On June 1, 2011, a jury convicted Jamaal Rex Harrison on seventeen separate counts of sexual assault committed against four different victims between April 2006 and April 2008. They found him guilty of five counts of forcible rape, nine counts of forced oral copulation, and one count each of attempted sodomy, sodomy and sexual penetration with a foreign object. The jury also found that he kidnapped his victims, increasing the risk that they would suffer harm or injury, as well as that he assaulted multiple victims, and tied and bound one of them during the commission of the assault.His victims were all young women from Oakland, ranging in age from 14 years old to 20. In three of the cases, the victims were abducted from the street into his car and driven to remote locations where they were repeatedly assaulted, and then abandoned, one as far away as San Pablo. In the other, his victim was grabbed from the street and dragged onto the grounds of a nearby church where he could carry out the assault without being seen. DNA evidence developed by the Oakland Police Department Crime Lab showed that a single assailant was likely responsible for the assaults against all four women. In late 2008, an Oakland Police Department investigation of another crime led police to suspect Harrison in these four assaults. They obtained a DNA swab from him, and it confirmed that his DNA matched the evidence profiles developed by the crime lab. DNA evidence at trial was critical since none of his victims could identify him as their attacker. Because of the jury's findings, the defendant must be sentenced to a minimum indeterminate term of 100 years to life, with a possible maximum sentence of more than twice that amount. Sentencing is scheduled for July 7 in front of Judge Cartwright. This case was tried by DDA Mark Melton of the DNA Cold Hit Unit.

Misdemeanor Verdicts - June 2011

  • On June 28, 2011 a jury found Christopher Wellsborek guilty of brandishing a firearm based upon events that took place on October 24, 2009 at about 12:22 am. At that time, the victim, Jesse Sartain was walking down Stanton Street in Castro Valley when he encountered the defendant who was in an argument with another person. The defendant had a shotgun. When the defendant saw victim Sartain, he racked the shotgun and yelled at him. The victim called 911 shortly after. The case was tried by Certified Law Clerk Camille Ching, supervised by DDA Barbara Foo.
     
  • On June 17, 2011, after two hours of deliberation, a jury found the defendant Kenneth Paul Peeler guilty of driving under the influence, a violation of Penal Code section 23152(a). The case was prosecuted by Certified Summer Law Clerk Emily Tienken and supervised by DDAs Bill Boselli, Joe Eichorn, and Connie Campbell.
  • On June 8, 2011, a jury found defendant Dana Lashawn Cox guilty of driving with a blood alcohol content above 0.08, a violation of Penal Code section 23152(b). The case was prosecuted by Certified Summer Law Clerk Charlie Connally, supervised by DDA Gregory O'Connell.  
  • On June 1, 2011, a jury found defendant Edwin Drake guilty of obstructing, resisting, or delaying a peace officer, a violation of Penal Code section 148(a)(1). On April 26, 2011, an Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy responded to investigate a potential battery that occurred within a family court department at the Hayward Hall of Justice. The deputy subsequently pursued the defendant on Amador Street, and in spite of several requests for the defendant to stop and return to the courthouse, he repeatedly refused to do so. The defendant continued to physically resist the deputy when he attempted to handcuff him. The prosecutor was DDA Gemma Daggs.

Felony Verdicts - May 2011

  • On May 31, 2011, a jury found defendant Jerome Burns, guilty of unlawful sexual intercourse with a person under 18, forcible rape, oral copulation of a person under 16, using a minor for sex acts, procuring a child to engage in a lewd act, pandering by procuring, and pimping of a 14 year old victim. The victim, Jane Doe, was enslaved by a child trafficker who sold her for sex in numerous cities. In December 2009, victim Jane Doe was taken off the street by the defendant, Jerome Burns, and kept in his hotel room. He forced her to commit an act of prostitution for money once and had one of his friends use her services once. He forced her to orally copulate him twice and raped her twice as well. He forced her to pose for provocative photos and posted them online. The prosecutor was DDA Amilcar (Butch) Ford.
  • On May 19, a jury convicted Javed Aslam of committing a lewd act on a child under 14 and unlawful sexual intercourse for crimes committed on April 30, 2010, and of three counts of dissuading a witness in March and April of 2010, with the enhancement for committing the new crimes while out on his own recognizance. Aslam was arrested in a motel room in 2006 after having sex with a 13-year-old victim of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. The girl's pimp was prosecuted and convicted in 2007. Aslam was charged with a violation of Penal Code Section 288(a), lewd act on a child under 14, and released on bail. The case was delayed because the defendant spent considerable time in Texas during 2007 and 2008. In 2010, as the defendant's preliminary hearing approached, he contacted the victim and her mother. He threatened to kill the victim if her mother did not take her out of the state. He paid for several trips out of the state for the victim and her mother while the preliminary hearing was scheduled and rescheduled. On April 30, 2010, the defendant called the victim and set up a meeting. When he picked her up, he took her to the Motel 6 off Hegenberger in Oakland. Aslam made the victim give him oral sex and again had sexual intercourse with the victim. The case went to trial in November, 2010 but ended abruptly when the defense attorney withdrew, based on a conflict of interest with his client, the day before closing argument. With new counsel appointed, the case was tried to jury verdict in May of 2011. The victim was unable to be located for the trial. Her preliminary hearing testimony was read into the record. The defendant will face a State Prison term of 15 years when he is sentenced on June 17, 2011. The prosecutor was Joe Goethals.
  • On May 16, 2011 a jury convicted Walter Lafonze Edwards of the murder of George Hasbun, with the personal use of a firearm causing death, shooting at an inhabited dwelling house and the personal use of a firearm causing death, and of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The crimes took place on March 19, 2006 on the 7900 block of Macarthur Blvd. in Oakland. On that date, the defendant and his friends were at a local store, selling drugs. Two men entered the store and one of defendant's friend's bumped one of the men. A fight started almost immediately and one of the men was severely beaten. The second man went to the victim's apartment, which was across the street, and returned with a gun. He then started shooting at defendant and his friends. No one was shot. Later that evening, defendant armed himself with a SKS assault rifle and went to the victim's apartment. After knocking on the front door, he opened fire and shot 26 rounds into the building, killing the victim and shooting the victim's girlfriend in her feet. Neither the homicide victim, nor his girlfriend who was shot and injured were involved in any way in the incident at the store. The Prosecutor was DDA Mark Jackson.
  • On May 9, 2011, a jury convicted Earl Kevin Moore of two counts of forced oral copulation, one count of penetration by a foreign object and one count of attempted rape by a foreign object. On September 25, 2010, the defendant and the victim met at victim's request and drove to a home in Fremont owned by a female co-defendant, who entered a guilty plea prior to trial and testified at the trial on behalf of the People. Over a period of many hours, the two defendants forced the victim to perform various sex acts against her will. The victim eventually fled the house, seeking help from a neighbor, who called the police. When he is sentenced on July 8, 2011, defendant Moore faces a term of 26 years in prison, plus a term of 25 years to life in prison. The Prosecutor was DDA Amilcar (Butch) Ford.

Misdemeanor Verdicts - May 2011

  • On May 24, 2011, a jury found Johnnie Lee Davis guilty of driving under the influence and driving under the influence with an excessive blood alcohol content. The prosecutor was DDA Gregory O'Connell.
  • On May 23, 2011, a jury convicted Pamela Drawsand of one count of obstructing, resisting, or delaying a peace officer, a violation of Penal Code section 148(a)(1). On January 28, 2011, the defendant drove to the Oakland airport to pick up her sister and infant niece. They had not yet arrived, but defendant refused to move when asked by a Sheriff's Safety Aid, and later four Alameda County Deputies. She also refused to give her license and paperwork. Eventually she rolled up her windows and locked herself and her infant niece inside the car. Finally, a deputy threatened to break open a window when she started the car with another deputy standing in front of it. The defendant then rolled down her window a few inches and a deputy reached in and unlocked the door. The defendant was then arrested. The prosecutor was DDA Christopher Chin.
  • On May 10, 2011 a jury convicted Jorge Nolasco of one count of battery upon the mother of his children, a violation of Penal Code section 243(e)(1). The prosecutor was DDA Veronica Rios Reddick.

We are proud and honored to serve the people of Alameda County and wish our readers a fun-filled and safe 4th of July Holiday. 

 

Sincerely,

Nancy E. O'Malley

Alameda County District Attorney

In This Issue
Guilty Verdict in People v. Yusuf Bey IV and Antoine Mackey
DA Launches H.E.L.P
Consumer Alert: Principal Loan Reduction Scams
Neighborhood Leadership Institute
Truancy Court
Guilty Verdict in Thanksgiving Triple Slaying
Law Enforcement Torch Run
DDA Ford Receives Award
From the Courtroom

Quick Links

blue seal

Mission Statement

The Alameda County DA's Office is dedicated to serving our community through the ethical prosecution of criminal offenses and the vigorous protection of victims' rights.

Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
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. Please feel free to e-mail a question of your own that you would like to see answered here.