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Issue 4, 2012 

From the Office of the Alameda County District Attorney

Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

DDA Eric Swalwell Elected to Congress


This November gave the people of California's 15th congressional district something to be thankful for: their voice in the US House of Representatives will now be Alameda County DDA Eric Swalwell. The newly redrawn district (which is composed of all or parts of Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore, Hayward, and Union City, among other cities) will now be represented by the second-youngest member of Congress. 



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DDA Scott Patton Appointed to the Bench 


Alameda County DDA Scott Patton was appointed to the bench, and sworn in on November 26, 2012, in a ceremony held at Rene C. Davidson Courthouse. Judge Patton earned his law degree from USF, graduating cum laude in 1990. He Joined the Alameda County District Attorney's Office that same year, and has served as a deputy district attorney until becoming judge. While at the DA's office he tried approximately 50 jury trials, including cases of rape, domestic violence, child molestation, burglary, and murder. Judge Patton also held many highly important positions in the Office, including Head of the Major Narcotic Vendor Prosecution Unit, the Misdemeanor Team leader Hayward, and the Head of Felony Preliminary Hearing Team in Hayward. For the last five years Judge Patton has been one of two full-time consumer fraud prosecutors in the Office specializing in civil law enforcement actions.   

Proposition 35 Passes by a Landslide

On November 6, 2012, California voters passed Proposition 35 with an overwhelming 81% majority. The law, also known as the Ban on Human Trafficking and Sex Slavery, increases prison terms for human traffickers, makes sex trafficking a registerable offense, mandates that convicted human traffickers pay fines to financially assist victims' services, and requires that law enforcement receive training on human/sex trafficking.   


Before Proposition 35 passed, a national study gave California a failing grade for its laws pertaining to child sex trafficking. As California is home to some of the most active human trafficking hubs in the country, it was clear that the state needed to take some action. That's why the Alameda County District Attorney's Office was so vocally in favor of Proposition 35. "The goal of all this is safe communities and to stop the victimization of children and women being treated as slaves," said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley. "We need to change attitudes, we need to change the law, we need to increase protection for people who are being trafficked." 
Giselle Esteban Convicted of First Degree Murder in Killing of Michelle Le

On October 29, 2012, a jury found Giselle Diwag Esteban guilty of first degree murder for the killing of 26-year-old nursing student Michelle Le. DDA Butch Ford represented the people in court.

Victim Michelle Le


District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley stated, "I am pleased the perpetrator of this heinous, calculated crime has been brought to justice. I hope today's verdict will help the family and friends of Ms. Le to continue the long process towards healing following this tragic and senseless crime."


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Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley Announces $800,000 Settlement with Intelligent Beauty Inc.   

On November 26, 2012, a lawsuit against Intelligent Beauty Inc., the makers of Sensa, reached a settlement to the tune of $800,000. Alameda County joined eight other California county DA's offices (Santa Cruz, Marin, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma) in filing suit against the Delaware-based company for false advertising in the marketing campaign of their product Sensa.  The so-called "sprinkle diet" is sold nationwide and is marketed as a weight loss aid. Ads for the product claim that consumers can lose weight by sprinkling flavored 'tastants' on their food. Sensa became the subject of the District Attorneys' investigation an advertisement claimed that the product's efficacy had been clinically proven in the largest clinical study ever conducted. As part of the final Judgment, the defendants agreed to pay civil penalties and costs in the amount of $800,000 to be used for the enforcement of consumer protection laws.


The federal government does not regulate the dietary supplement market, so it is incumbent upon the state to take action against false and misleading claims. District Attorney O'Malley states, "The Alameda County District Attorney's Office is committed to protecting California consumer's from deceptive advertising in the dietary supplement market place." Deputy District Attorney Scott Patton handled the case for Alameda County.  


The Defendants did not admit fault or liability, but have agreed to abide by comprehensive court orders to prevent any future unfair or deceptive business practices. 
Felony Verdicts 

Felony Verdict Highlights, November:   


  • On November 28, 2012, the court found Juan Carlos Soria guilty of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer with a gang enhancement for his role in an incident in which a Hayward Police officer was attacked. On June 24, 2012, gang member Dario Franco was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk along A Street in Hayward. When a patrol officer directed him to stop. Franco responded by dropping his bicycle to the ground, and making furtive gestures towards his waist. The officer ordered Franco to show his hands and get on the ground. Franco ignored the officer's command, and hurled a padlock towards her. At this point the officer deployed her taser on Franco. Defendant Soria, a member of the same gang as Franco, had been uninvolved up to this point, but as Franco rolled around on the ground, Soria bent over his fellow gang member and broke the taser wires. Enraged and free of the taser, Franco rushed the officer, swinging his fists wildly and striking about the head. In the scuffle, the officer noticed Franco reaching for her service weapon. Fearing that he would indeed grab the gun, the officer fired a shot which struck Franco in the leg. Backup officers arrived and handcuffed Franco as he lay screaming on the ground. Officers had to forcibly subdue defendant Soria, who was cursing them for shooting his friend. The entire incident was captured on the surveillance video of a nearby convenience store. The prosecutor was DDA Steve Dal Porto.
  • On November 28, 2012, a jury found Thomas Chapman guilty of two counts of felony stalking and one misdemeanor count of annoying and harassing telephone calls. In early May 2011, the victim and defendant broke up after a 5-month relationship. Once the relationship ended, the defendant began to stalk her by incessantly texting and calling, showing up at her work, her home, and in other public places. In July, he was arrested and charged with stalking and given a stay order. In the following months, his conduct continued by searching for her, her family, and friends' personal information online. In December, he broke into her home, dressed all in black with a ski mask. A search warrant uncovered writings that admitted he was stalking her and threatened he would not let her get away with this and would make her pay 10 times for what he has gone through. At trial, GPS tracking data was introduced that showed the defendant repeatedly going to victim's prior address, her new apartment, her work, and other locations that victim had frequented. The Defendant will be sentenced January 4, 2013. The prosecutor was DDA Kalila Spain.
  • On November 8, 2012 a jury convicted Evaristo Toscano of the 2010 murder of Samier Ayesh. Defendant Toscano was also convicted of three counts of attempted murder and enhancements for using a gun in the commission of the murder. On June 11, 2010 Mr. Ayesh and three family members were closing the family store on 86th and International when Mr. Toscano and three accomplices drove to the store, confronted the Ayesh family members in the parking lot of the business and fired multiple shots from a handgun at the Ayesh family members killing Samier. The remaining family members were not injured. A mistrial was declared as to the second defendant when the jury deadlocked prior to reaching a verdict. The prosecutor was Autrey James, assisted by Inspector Gus Galindo.
  • On November 2, 2012, Judge Joseph Hurley of the Alameda County Superior Court sentenced David Mills to death for the 2005 murders of Dale Griffin, Rebecca Martinez, and James Martin. A jury convicted Mills on June 28, 2012, of three counts of first degree murder, premeditated attempted murder in the shooting of Elizabeth Martinez, and two counts of animal cruelty. During the trial Elizabeth Martinez identified Mills as the sole gunman that fired ten rounds of ammunition into the car occupied by herself and the three murder victims as they were parked in front of Mills' residence on St. Elmo Drive in East Oakland. Several hours later Mills was arrested and found still in possession of the murder weapon. The same jury then heard additional evidence during a penalty phase that included evidence of a 1997 murder committed by Mills. On August 1, 2012, the jury returned a recommendation of death.
Felony Verdicts Highlights, October:
  • On October 30, 2012, a jury found Nerrah Brown guilty of seven counts of robbery, seven counts of false imprisonment by violence, and one count of criminal threats. These convictions stem from two take-over robberies of credit unions. On August 14, 2006, defendant Brown and an accomplice walked into the Patelco Credit Union in Fremont during business hours, wearing ski masks, and carrying what looked like real guns (the guns were in fact an airsoft gun and a BB gun.) Defendant Brown demanded to know who was in charge. When no one spoke up, he pointed his weapon at an employee and threatened to shoot. When the defendant found the manager, he demanded that she take him to the vault. He took the vault money and fled. The loss from Patelco was over $50,000. On January 26, 2007, the defendant walked into the Provident Credit Union in Hayward while the business was closing. With a hood over his head and a weapon resembling a gun in his hand, defendant Brown demanded to know who was in charge. When no one spoke up, he pointed the weapon at an employee and threatened to shoot him. When the manager identified herself, the defendant demanded that she take him to the vault and place the money inside his bag. The loss from Provident was over $80,000. The prosecutor was DDA Danny Lau.
  • On October 26, 2012, a jury found London Willard guilty of grand theft from a person. On August 27, 2011, victim Dennis Vincent was riding an AC Transit Bus to the San Lorenzo Library. Defendant Willard was the only other passenger on the bus. When Defendant Willard moved closer to Vincent and began staring at him, the victim became nervous and pushed the button for the bus to stop. Vincent was wearing a gold rope chain with a gold crucifix. When the victim got up from his seat to exit the bus, defendant Willard commented that the victim should stay seated until the bus stopped. As victim walked past defendant Willard, defendant grabbed victim and ripped off his chain. The whole incident was caught on AC Transit surveillance. The prosecutor was DDA Kalila Spain.
  • On October 24, 2012, Theodore Walter Jones was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a felon for his role in a parking lot scuffle that led to the death of D'Mario Anderson. On the night of September 8, 2010, defendant Jones drunkenly bumped into the victim and his friends as they were placing their order at a taco truck on 44th Avenue and International Boulevard in East Oakland. This accidental encounter spurred a confrontation between the two groups that quickly escalated from dirty looks to punches. When Anderson drew a pistol from his waistband, Defendant Jones restrained him in a "bear hug," but received a bullet in his own leg when the gun discharged. He pried the weapon from Anderson, who turned and ran briefly before reaching for his waistband a second time. Believing that the victim had another gun, defendant Jones fired several shots, two of which struck Anderson and knocked him to the ground. While Anderson was down, defendant Jones walked up to him and shot him in the head. One of the defendant's friends then drove him to a hospital in Tracy where he was treated for the gunshot wound. Oakland Police Department officers found a second gun under the victim's body, but subsequent ballistics tests determined that it had not been fired at the scene. The prosecutor was DDA Mas Morimoto.
  • On October 23, 2012, a jury found Davon Foster guilty of attempted robbery. On July 26, 2012, defendant Foster stood in the doorway of the ABB Market in East Oakland, where Abdul Salam Jobah was working as a cashier. Defendant Foster waited for the store to clear of customers and then approached Mr. Jobah and asked for a pack of cigarettes. As Mr. Jobah reached for the cigarettes, defendant Foster gestured as though he had a gun under his shirt and repeatedly demanded that Mr. Jobah "give [him] all the money." When Mr. Jobah pressed a silent alarm in response, defendant Foster shouted expletives at Mr. Jobah and promised that he would come back with his gun and kill him. Police found defendant Foster several minutes later hiding between a car and the curb of a sidewalk a block away from the market. Sentencing will be on November 21, 2012. The prosecutor was DDA Amanda Chavez.
  • On October 15, 2012, a jury convicted Franklin Bingham of unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle. On June 13, 2011, the victim came out of his Union City home on his way to work and noticed that his car was missing. About fourteen hours later, defendant Bingham was driving the stolen car eastbound along Auto Mall Parkway in Fremont when he rear-ended another vehicle. He drove a short distance away from the scene of the accident before abandoning the stolen car in the middle of the road and fleeing on foot. Fremont Police found defendant Bingham several hours later in the general vicinity of the accident. The victim and the motorist whom he had hit both identified defendant, and fingerprints were in the stolen car along with other indicia later linked to him. The prosecutor was DDA Armando Pastran.
  • On October 11, 2012, a jury found defendant Rodrigo Ramirez guilty of murder in the first degree for the strangulation death of 17-year-old Tamara Thompson. On March 31, 2009, defendant Ramirez solicited the victim who was working as a prostitute and took her to a nearby motel in the Golden Gate district of North Oakland. After strangling her to death, he dressed her body, carried her to his car, and drove to a park where he dumped her on the side of the road. One year later, DNA evidence found in saliva on the victim's breast was matched to defendant Ramirez. He eventually admitted killing the victim and moving her body. The prosecutor was DDA Matt Foley.

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.



Nancy E. O'Malley

Alameda County District Attorney

Eric Swalwell Elected to Congress
Scott Patton Appointed to the Bench
Proposition 35
Giselle Esteban Convicted of Murdering Michelle Le
$800,000 Settlement Against Intelligent Beauty Inc.
Felony Verdicts

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