Did You Know ...

Issue 2, 2013 

From the Office of the Alameda County District Attorney

Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

As the national debate on gun violence rages on, we in Alameda County are daily confronted with the tragedy and senseless horrors that result from the misuse of firearms. Although the City of Oakland has especially suffered from the scourge of gun-related crimes, guns have proven to be a serious problem in other parts of the county as well. 


The recent news about the shootings and killings taking place in Alameda County is devastating and often leads to a perception that little or nothing can be done to address the serious violence plaguing our community. I believe that it is important to also acknowledge the results of homicide investigations and the prosecution of those responsible. This issue includes a snapshot of gun related cases that our office has recently prosecuted.


In addition to prosecuting gun cases, my office unveiled its new series of podcasts.  These short episodes are meant to provide listeners with context and commentary on some of the most pressing issues in criminal justice. The first episode deals with the ongoing epidemic of gun violence in Alameda County.  I hope you will listen in and send your comments or suggestions for topics you would like to hear. 


We know we can't fight crime alone. It takes a community to make a difference. Let's work together to keep our streets healthy and gun-free.



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



Nancy E. O'Malley

Alameda County District Attorney

Our Office Responds to Gun Violence 


An assault rifle with an illegal high-capacity drum magazine, seized by OPD.


Gun-related cases that our office has recently prosecuted incude:


People v. Gregory Gadlin On February 13, 2013 a jury convicted defendant Gregory Gadlin, of the first-degree murder of Evan Meisner, and of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Both offenses occurred at approximately 1:40 a.m. on March 31, 2011 on Lyon Avenue in Oakland. The murder is believed to have occurred as a part of a robbery. The defendant will be sentenced on March 29, 2013. The prosecutor was DDA Greg Dolge.


People v. Aaron Chandra On February 7, 2013, Aaron Chandra was convicted of second-degree murder and of possessing marijuana for sale. On August 29th, 2010, the victim arranged to purchase a large quantity of marijuana from the defendant in the garage of the Hayward cottage that the defendant's mother rented. During a dispute about the marijuana, the victim struck the defendant on the face with an open palm. The defendant pulled a loaded .380 automatic handgun from his waistband and fired three shots, one of which hit the victim in the chest. He was declared dead shortly after being transported to Eden Hospital. The prosecutor was DDA Brian Owens.


People v. Charles Ray Woods On January 30, 2013, a jury convicted Charles Ray Woods of home invasion robbery in concert. On February 22, 2012, Woods, along with Kevon Lashean Hicks and Marquis Lavon Hamilton forced their way into the home of an elderly couple in Fremont, and threatened and hit the home-owners with a gun. The men ransacked the house before fleeing on foot. They were apprehended shortly thereafter. The two other defendants, Hicks and Hamilton, pled guilty to all charges before trial. The jury also convicted defendant Woods of a robbery at a 7-11 store on Mission Boulevard in Hayward that he participated in on July of 2011. The prosecutor was DDA Matt Gaidos.


Gun-related cases recently charged by our Office include:

  • Defendant Lamar Webster, charged with a January, 11, 2013 murder and attempted murder. The defendant is alleged to have opened fire from a car, killing the driver of another car and leaving one hundred shell casings at the scene. The murders took place in the middle of the afternoon, on a street in Oakland.
  • Defendant Christopher Carter, who is alleged to have shot and killed his girlfriend on December 7, 2012.
  • Defendant Diantay Powell, who is accused of murdering two-teenaged girls near in Oakland on November 25, 2012.

Announcing New Podcast Series


On February 26, 2013, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office unveiled its new series of podcasts. These short episodes are meant to provide listeners with context and commentary on some of the most pressing issues in criminal justice. The first episode deals with the ongoing epidemic of gun violence in Alameda County and beyond. Listen for free here.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for topics you'd like to hear us address in the podcast, please feel free to send an email, tweet, or Facebook message. We would love to hear your feedback! 



Federal Legislation: Congress Re-Authorizes Violence Against Women Act 


The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a landmark piece of legislation that sought to improve criminal justice and community-based responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in the United States. The passage of VAWA in 1994, and its reauthorization in 2000 and 2005, has changed the landscape for victims who once suffered in silence. 


Reauthorization of this measure was on hold for over a year, leaving women in our country without dire protections. 

Last Thursday, by a vote of 286 to 138, the House passed the bipartisan Senate-approved version of the Violence Against Women Act - one that includes added protections for LGBT, Native American, and undocumented victims of domestic violence.    District Attorney Nancy O'Malley applauds Congress for reauthorizing a more inclusive version of VAWA.  O'Malley states "Federal leadership encourages local government to improve responses to victims and perpetrators.  These laws fill in local jurisdictional gaps in prosecuting crimes. Reauthorization of VAWA supports these positive changes."

VAWA supporters at a rally in Washington DC. (Photograph by the National Congress of American Indians)

Recent Domestic Violence Verdict:


People v. Frank Austin On February 11, 2013, a jury convicted Frank Austin of second-degree murder, and use of a knife in the killing of his long-time girlfriend, Vernita Jones. On July 4, 2011, defendant Austin beat Ms. Jones with his fists, and possibly a cane, causing broken bones and extensive bruising. However the cause of death was determined to be loss of blood from the 66 stab wounds she received from defendant Austin's kitchen knife. Instead of summoning medical help, defendant Austin waited for two days while Ms. Jones lay dying in his bed in the North Oakland residential hotel where he lived. When he finally called 911 on the morning of July 6, paramedics found Ms. Jones' decomposing body, blood all over the walls, bed, and items in the room, and two bloody knives in a knife block. When arrested, defendant Austin had a broken hand, but no other injuries. The prosecutor was DDA Barbara Foo.

Helping Victims and Healing Children 


On January 26, 2013, the Alameda County Family Justice Center held its sixth Annual One Gala. The event took place at the Rotunda Building in downtown Oakland and was attended by over 300 people. The gala raised money for the FJC's KidZone and other victim support programs offered by the Family Justice Center. 


Guests of the came together from the Bay Area and beyond to unite in support of the ACFJC, including a number of state, regional and local elected officials. Over the course of the evening, attendees bid in both a silent auction and a live auction to raise money various programs associated with the ACFJC.  


The ACFJC is a one-stop center for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child and elder abuse, and sexually exploited minors. It is made up of governmental and non-profit agencies that co-locate to provide comprehensive services to victims and their families. KidZone is the onsite childcare program open to all families who are visiting the Justice Center. It provides children visiting a safe and comfortable environment as they wait for their parents who are receiving services, or while they wait for their own appointmentsSince opening in 2005, more than 87,000 individuals including more that 4,500 children have walked through the doors of the ACFJC and have been served by as many as 35 on-site and nearly 100 off-site partners.

Proceeds from the gala went to support the Client Transportation Program in which clients are provided transportation vouchers where there is a need, as well as the KidZone Children and Youth Program and Youth Empowerment Programs. These programs include art expression, the Reading and Learning Center, Camp HOPE (a camp program for children who are victims of family violence), and the Young Women's Empowerment Program, a Saturday program for girls who have been victims or who are at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking. Furthermore, proceeds went to support the newly designed STEP-UP program (Survivor Training and Empowerment Program- Utilizing your Potential), a self-sufficiency and financial literacy program for victims receiving services at the ACFJC. 

Couldn't make it to the gala but still want to help raise money for the Family Justice Center? The ACFJC is currently nominated for the People's Momentum Award, a competition of nonprofits put on by the Women's Federation of California. It's free to vote, and the non-profit with the most votes at the end of the contest will win $10,000 for their good work. Click here to cast your vote for the Family Justice Center. A vote for he ACFJC is a vote for women, children, and families of Alameda County. Voting ends March 28, 2013.
Gala attendees watch a video of Congressman Eric Swallwell speak on the floor of the House about the Alameda County Family Justice Center.

Recent Cases Involving Children:


People v. James Timothy McCarthy On February 15, 2013, a jury convicted James Timothy McCarthy of thirteen counts of continuous sexual abuse, aggravated sexual assault and rape of a minor under the age of 14. The defendant is expected to be sentenced to a life term in prison on March 18, 2013. The prosecutor was DDA Casey Bates. 


People v. Edward Leite On February 6, 2013, Edward Leite was convicted by a jury of one count of sexual intercourse with a child 10-years old or younger, four counts of lewd and lascivious acts against a child 14-years of age or younger, and one count of possession or control of child pornography. On October 30, 2010, Jane Doe's mother allowed the defendant to take her 7-year old daughter to a Halloween party. After the party, the Defendant sexually molested the little girl causing injury to her privates. When Jane Doe's mother returned to the house the little girl disclosed her injury, and the police were called and the defendant arrested. A search of the defendant's home recovered DVDs  filmed by the Defendant, showing footage of Jane Doe and John Doe, another child, engaged in sexual contact. Alameda Sheriff's Crime lab found almost 200 child porn videos and photographs on defendant's two computers. Defendant Leite will face a prison term of 75 years to life when he is sentenced. The prosecutor was DDA Jimmie Wilson.


People v. Walter Meek Jr. On January 14, 2013, Walter Meek Jr. was convicted of one count of sexual penetration of a child 10 years old or younger, and two counts of lewd and lascivious act against a child 14 years of age or younger. Sometime during early April 2010, Jane Doe One and Jane Doe Two, 5-year old twins, were staying with a family friend. Defendant Meek, a registered sex offender, and his then-girlfriend asked if they could take the children on a play-date to play with Meek's twin nephews. Defendant did not disclose his sex offender status to the friend (a status he earned for sexually assaulting his then 4-year old cousin.) The four eventually went to his girlfriend's Hayward home, where he molested and sexually assaulted each twin separately, and forced his girlfriend to perform sexual acts with him as one of the children looked on. The defendant's girlfriend testified against him in court. Defendant Meek faces a minimum sentence of 60 years to life in prison. The prosecutor was DDA Jimmie Wilson.


Local Focus: Black History Month in Oakland
Each month the Alameda County DA's Office highlights an exciting piece of news from one of the local communities that make up Alameda County. This month's Local Focus: Oakland.

Since its official establishment in 1976, Black History Month has been a time for Americans to study and celebrate the vitally important contributions that African Americans have made to our nation's history. Oakland celebrated with a variety of educational and cultural events designed to edify and enrich.


Walking Tours - Did you know that there are free walking tours of Oakland every Wednesday and Saturday morning May-October? It's true! For Black History Month, Oakland Walking Tours extended its operations into the month of February when it offered its New Era/New Politics tour. The 90-minute tour takes walkers through downtown Oakland, highlighting places where African American leaders made history. The New Era/ New Politics tour will be offered again, along with a host of other tours, when the program starts up in May. See oaklandnet.com/walkingtours for tour details.


 For the second consecutive year, students from the Ile Omode school won the elementary, middle school, and high school divisions of the annual Dr. Carter G. Wilson Black History Bowl. Named for the historian who initiated Black History Week in 1926 (which would become Black History Month some 50 years later) the Black History Bowl is an annual academic competition amongst schools in Oakland. This year's event was held at Frick Middle School.  Congratulations to all the students and educators who participated!


Pen Harshaw at the online newspaper Oakland North put together this video from Ile Omode's Ancestor Day celebration. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 


Recent Verdicts  

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

Our Office Responds to Gun Violence
Announcing Our New Podcast
Violence Against Women Act Reauthorized
ACFJC Annual One Gala
Oakland Celebrates Black History Month
Recent Verdicts

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