Did You Know ...

Issue 3, 2012 

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From the Office of the Alameda County District Attorney

Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

DA's Office: Keeping Kids in School
The Alameda County DA's Office is committed to keeping kids in school. We chair the Oakland Education Cabinet's Attendance Committee that has launched a new initiative called Every Day Counts: Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow.

Every Day Counts aims to improve attendance in Kindergarten and First Grade. Children who are chronically absent in these grades are much less likely to read well by the end of third grade, and are more likely to have poor attendance in later grades. Students who are chronically absent or frequently suspended from school are at greater risk of dropping out, and dropouts are three times more likely than high school graduates to be arrested. It's in the community's interests to give all kids a fighting chance.

Read the Oakland Tribune's article on the Every Day Counts initiative...

The Oakland Education Cabinet Toolkit contains valuable resources for parents and schools, and can be found at AtSchool.alcoda.org.

At School

Why does attendance matter?


Recently, DA O'Malley and the Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Tony Smith wrote an opinion piece in the Oakland Tribune to highlight why attendance matters, not just for the children but for the community.
Read the opinion piece here...
DA Speaks Out Against Bullying  

District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley was invited by US Attorney Melinda Haag to speak on a panel discussion about "Bullying Prevention in Action" at the Bay Area Stop Bullying Summit on September 14.  

DA O'Malley (third from left) speaking at the STOP Bullying Summit.

The portion of DA O'Malley's presentation dealt with how the DA's Office works collaboratively with the school districts to address this issue.  

Alameda Co. DA's Office Leads Charge in Environmental Action
On August 6, 2012, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley announced that her office filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction in a civil lawsuit against Walgreen's Co., to stop the company from routinely and systematically dumping hazardous wastes into the environment.

The lawsuit, led by the Alameda County DA's Office and joined by 35 other prosecutors' offices, was filed in Alameda County Superior Court on June 18th, and claims that more than 600 Walgreen's stores throughout the state improperly handled and disposed of various hazardous wastes (such as pesticides and bleach) over a six and a half-year period. The lawsuit also alleges that Walgreen's unlawfully disposed of customer records containing confidential medical information without preserving the confidentiality of the information therein.

 

"California hazardous waste law requires companies carefully store, handle, and dispose of hazardous wastes and materials," states DA O'Malley.
"My Office, along with my fellow DA and City Attorney Offices, is committed to ensuring that all businesses comply with these laws."

 

Read more... 

The District Attorney's Justice Academy  
The inaugural class of the District Attorney's Justice Academy (DAJA) wrapped up at the end of the summer, with over 20 youth successfully completing their work experience programs with our Justice Academy partners. The DAJA offered a paid six-month learning and working experience to high school students aged 16-18.
District Attorney Nancy O'Malley presents to the 2012 Justice Academy participants. 

Beginning in March, 2012, the group met every two weeks during the school semester for educational sessions relating to the fields of criminal justice, social justice and law & the courts. Participating students were placed in a justice-related summer job in a local organization.

 

The 2012 Academy was available to high school students in the Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore School Districts.  

Conviction Secured in 2005 Triple Homicide 

Defendant David Mills
(photo courtesy of Alameda County Sheriffs Office).

People v David Mills

 

On June 28, 2012, a jury found defendant David Mills guilty of three counts of premeditated murder, one count of premeditated attempted murder, and two counts of felony animal cruelty.    

Those convictions stemmed from Mills' shooting of four people and two dogs seated inside a car in the 9900 block of St. Elmo Drive in Oakland's Brookfield Village district on March 10, 2005. 

Read more about the case...

Following the guilty verdict, the same jury of six 

men and six women heard testimony in the penalty phase. The jury fixed the sentence at death.

 

During the penalty trial the jury was presented evidence of several additional crimes committed by Mills. These crimes included the January 1, 1997, killing of Troy Gardner over a drug turf dispute. The jury also heard testimony relating to Mills' history of domestic violence and illegal gun possession.

 

Read more about the penalty trial...
Providing Youth with a Slice of Work Experience
Summer intern Jenny giving her presentation on the Governor's Budget.
The Alameda County DA's Office is committed to helping youth in our county learn valuable skills through participating in a summer internship program. In addition to the DA's Justice Academy, we work with organizations such as New Beginnings, Soulciety, and the County Administrator's Youth Leadership Academy to place local youth in summer internships.

In Summer 2012, we placed twelve local youth in administrative roles in our offices around the county. Our interns learned various skills and gave presentations to their supervisors at the end of their internships on such topics as the Grand Jury Report and the Governor's Budget.
Defendant Pleads Guilty to Murdering Girlfriend & Child

People v Curtis Martin
Defendant Curtis Martin
(photo courtesy of Alameda County Sheriffs Office).
On July 19, 2012, defendant Curtis Martin pled guilty as charged to murdering his girlfriend, Zoelina Toney, and his girlfriend's young child, Jashon Williams. Defendant Martin was charged with, and pled guilty to, two counts of murder and three special circumstances for killing a witness, for killing by means of lying in wait, and for killing more than one victim. The defendant also pled to being a felon in possession of a firearm and admitted three prior felony convictions.

The charges stem from defendant Martin's brutal murder of Zoelina Toney on November 13, 2009, who was found beaten and shot to death at Berkeley's Aquatic Park. Two days later, the body of Zoelina's 17 month son, Jashon Williams, was found floating in the water at the Berkeley Marina. Jashon's body was badly decomposed and an autopsy was unable to determine a cause of death.

Defendant Martin was in trial and jury selection was ongoing when the defendant pled guilty as charged to the Court and waived any right to appeal. There was no plea agreement with the District Attorney's Office. The defendant will be sentenced to the maximum punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole on December 3, 2012. The prosecutor was DDA Tim Wellman.
Felony Verdicts 

Between July 1 and September 29, 2012, 20 felonies and 22 misdemeanor cases were tried before a jury. A sampling of felony verdicts are as follows:   

  • On September 11, 2012, a jury found Abel Ramos Alvarado guilty of two counts of Penal Code 288.5(a) continual sexual abuse against two separate victims. Defendant Avarado and his wife were employed to babysit the victims (Jane Doe 1 & Jane Doe 2) regularly from February 2007 until June 2010. In November 2010, the 5-year-old and 7-year-old victims revealed defedant Alvarez's conduct to their mother. Defendant Alvarado is potentially facing 15 years to life in prison when he is sentenced. The prosecutor was DDA Briggitte Lowe.  
  • On August 16, 2012 a jury convicted defendant Alex Olachea of premeditated attempted murder with use of a firearm causing great bodily injury and being a felon in possession of a firearm for crimes committed on November 20, 2011. The same jury also convicted the defendant of second degree murder with use of a firearm causing death and being a felon in possession of a firearm based upon crimes committed on November 27, 2011. On November 20, defendant Olachea shot a man three times in front of a residence in unincorporated Hayward. He shot the victim because he believed that the victim had disrespected the defendant's girlfriend. The victim underwent emergency surgery and survived his injuries. On November 27, the defendant shot a man once inside a residence in unincorporated Hayward. The defendant fled from the residence with his girlfriend and left the victim dying from his injuries. Two days later, the defendant arranged to have the residence set on fire. The victim was found dead inside the residence after the fire. The defendant's girlfriend later told witnesses that she saw defendant shoot the victim. Other witnesses later saw defendant with a gun and heard defendant bragging about the shooting. The prosecutor was DDA John Brouhard.
  • On August 15, 2012, a jury found Andrew Toon Wong guilty of two counts of first degree murder with enhancements for using a firearm causing death, and a special circumstances clause for multiple murders. On July 31, 2008, delivery driver David Wells was murdered in his truck while parked at Doolittle Drive and Harbor Bay Parkway. Mr. Wells was known by many people in Alameda County for his love of bowling, and sports betting. This case, although diligently investigated by the Oakland Police Department, remained unsolved for 9 months. On April 4, 2009, Quang "John" Quach was murdered in his home on Fruitvale Ave, Oakland. At the time of his death, Quach worked at the Southshore Safeway in Alameda, which was also a store Wells had often delivered to. Oakland Police investigators noted similarities between the murder of Mr. Quach and Mr. Wells. Defendant Wong murdered both men to avoid paying his gambling debts. Defendant Wong faces up to life in prison without parole when he is sentenced on November 30, 2012, in Department 9. The case was prosecuted by DDA Autrey James.
  • On August 13, 2012, a jury found defendant Cesar Aguirre guilty of felony vandalism. On November 3, 2011, defendant Aguirre was in Frank Ogawa Plaza at the Occupy Oakland General Strike Protest. He was dressed in all black clothing, wearing goggles and a dust mask. He grabbed a red metal folding chair and walked to the windows of the Oakland Police Department Recruiting Office and the Oakland Police Department Internal Affairs Office. Defendant Aguirre swung the chair at the glass windows and doors multiple times before discarding the chair. He then used his body weight to push up against the wooden boards that had been placed behind the glass to prevent entry into the office. An OPD Officer witnessed this from a nearby parking structure and kept his eyes on the defendant until he was arrested by a second officer. Defendant Aguirre had glass shards on his sleeves when he was arrested. The defendant broke a total of 6 windows and 1 door. The total amount of damage was $6,654.63. Defendant Aguirre was remanded to custody after his conviction.
  • On August 2, 2012, a jury convicted Obdulio Ambrosio Jimenez of four counts of penetration or sodomy of a child under 10 years of age. The crimes took place between 2006 and 2010. Jane Doe eventually told a friend and a school counselor. Defendant Jimenez faces 25 years to life in state prison when he is sentenced on August 30, 2012. The prosecutor was DDA Briggitte Lowe.
  • On July 26, 2012, Jonathan Micah Gardner was convicted of forcible rape and forcible oral copulation. The jury also found that the defendant kidnapped the victim and used a deadly weapon during the commission of both crimes. On January 15, 2002, the defendant kidnapped 15-year-old victim Jane Doe from the corner of 35th and International Blvd. in Oakland while she was waiting for a ride home. Defendant Gardner forced her to walk up 35th Ave. for several blocks, where he then forced her into the backyard of a duplex. In the backyard he picked up a piece of wood and threatened to beat Jane Doe with the board if she did not orally copulate him. Defendant Gardner removed Jane Doe's pants, put on a condom and forcibly raped her. Following the rape, defendant Gardner made Jane Doe accompany him through many parts of Oakland before he finally let her go. Several years later, DNA evidence from the condom confirmed the defendant's identity. During trial, the prosecution brought forth another of the defendant's victims who testified that defendant Gardner raped her in her own home in February of 2002. Defendant Gardner had met the then-13-year-old victim on a telephone chat line. The DDA who prosecuted the case was Matt Foley.
  • On July 25, 2012, a jury convicted Eric Perry of first degree murder with special circumstances, and for two counts of attempted second degree robbery with enhancements. On August 21, 2007, Ronald Spears Jr. was driving through Oakland with two friends. After getting lost, Mr. Spears pulled the car into a gas station. Defendant Perry was walking from the gas station's store window, when Mr. Spears' car pulled up next to him and asked him for directions. The defendant indicated some directions and then asked Mr. Spears for a ride, saying that he would show them the way. Defendant Perry got into the car's back passenger seat and pulled out a loaded gun. The defendant pointed the gun at the three victims, threatened their lives and aggressively demanded their money. He pointed his gun at Spears' head as Mr. Spears handed over cash, as well as the gold chain he was wearing. Defendant and Mr. Spears began to struggle with one another as the two women jumped out of the rolling car. After the car crashed into a tree, Mr. Spears jumped out of the car and began to run. Defendant Perry followed Mr. Spears out of the car, began to run in the opposite direction of Mr. Spears but then stopped and turned back towards him. The defendant fired one fatal shot into the back of Mr. Spears as Mr. Spears was running away. The defendant will be sentenced on September 14, 2012. The prosecutor was DDA Laura Passaglia.

Felony and Misdemeanor Verdicts 

For a full description of all felony and our misdemeanor verdicts, please visit our website. 

We are proud and honored to serve the people of Alameda County.

 

Sincerely,

Nancy E. O'Malley

Alameda County District Attorney

IN THIS ISSUE
Keeping Kids in School
DA Speaks out Against Bullying
DA's Office Leads Charge in Environmental Action
District Attorney's Justice Academy
Conviction in Triple Homicide
Summer Youth Interns
Guilty Plea in Double Murder
Felony Verdicts

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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.

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