Did You Know ...

Issue 4, 2013 

From the Office of the Alameda County District Attorney

Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

Elder Awareness Month

This June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month, a time to honor our senior citizens and educate seniors and their loved ones about how to prevent elder abuse. According to the World Health Organization, elder abuse is "a violation of human rights and a significant cause of illness, injury, loss of productivity, isolation, and despair." 


One of the most under-reported crimes in the United States, elder abuse can take many forms, from physical and verbal abuse to financial malfeasance, to neglect.

Nancy O'Malley & Supervisor Wilma Chan


On June 11, 2013, Nancy O'Malley joined Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan in proclaiming June to be Elder Abuse Awareness Month. Members of our Office's Elder Protection Unit and representatives from the Victim-Witness Assistance Division were also present to accept the proclamation.  

Amber Alert Bill Clears Senate Public Safety Committee
Jineva Belle Driscoll

On Friday, June 10, 2005, Maria Driscoll and her 5-year-old daughter Jineva were found shot to death in the back of a Dodge Durango on a rural stretch of Sonoma County highway. Police had been on the lookout for the Walnut Creek mother and daughter ever since relatives received a troubling letter from Maria in which she announced plans to kill herself and her daughter. Despite 39-year-old Driscoll's history of emotional instability, authorities were unable to issue a statewide Amber Alert - coordinated effort between law enforcement, the media, and the public to locate children who have been abducted. Because Maria was the custodial parent, Jineva's case did not qualify as an "abduction" under standard Amber Alert protocol.

Alameda County Inspector Cristina Harbison was working for the Walnut Creek Police Department when the Driscoll's disappeared. Even after she left Walnut Creek to take a position with our Office, the memory of this tragic case remained with her. For that reason Harbison has been instrumental in developing AB 535, authored by State Assemblyman Bill Quirk and co-sponsored by our office and Alameda County. The bill that would amend the existing rules to allow law enforcement to issue an Amber Alert whenever a child is determined to be in imminent danger of bodily harm or death - even at the hands of a custodial parent.

Having cleared the Assembly and the State Senate Public Safety Committee, AB 535 is currently set for debate on the floor of the State Senate, and is, we hope, on its way to becoming law.

Justice Academy Awarded as Innovative Program

We are pleased to announce that the District Attorney's Justice Acadmemy is the recipient of the National Association of Counties' Achievement Award. This award recognizes county programs that demonstrate innovative approaches to community outreach. 

The DA Justice Academy was established in 2011 and aims to provide youths ages 16 to 18 with the opportunity to learn about the justice system by participating in educational seminars and paid internships. Students meet for two-hour sessions that include presentations by elected officials, judges, law enforcement professionals, reporters, and attorneys from both criminal and civil practices. After the semester ends, students are placed in paid internships in legal or government offices, where they gain valuable skills and work experience.

There are currently two DA Justice Academies: one that serves students in Dublin, Livermore, and Pleasanton, and one that serves Hayward, San Lorenzo, San Leandro, and Castro Valley school districts. For updates on the Justice Academy, including deadlines for application, please check our website.

DA's Office Presents on Cyber-safety




For many students today, learning to operate the latest technology is no problem. Exercising sound judgment... well, that's another story. For many of their parents however, the situation is reversed. This presents a potentially dangerous scenario in which children are left to their own devices (literally) while their parents may be unaware of the perils their kids face online. Even the most tech-savvy parents may not know the legal ramifications of every type of their children engage in on the internet. Fortunately, our Office can help. 


Last month, Deputy District Attorney Casey Bates and Assistant District Attorney Teresa Drenick went to Piedmont's Corpus Christi School to deliver presentations to students and parents on the topic of cyber-safety. Covering issues such as cyber-bullying, sexting, trolling, and online safety and security, these presentations were aimed at providing practical guidelines for navigating the constantly-changing landscape of social media and the internet.


If you would like to request a speaker from our Office to present on cyber-safety (or another topic) please visit us at http://www.alcoda.org/speakers_bureau.



Local Focus: Bay Area Youth EMT
The Bay Area Youth EMT graduating class of 2013

Founded in 2002, Bay Area Youth EMT has been teaching EMT skills to students around the Bay Area for 11 years and is still going strong. Initially created specifically for high school students, BAY EMT has since expanded its mission to helping increase the diversity in the first-responder profession. With a curriculum that includes US History, politics, government, and current events along with EMT and Fire skills, BAY EMT seeks to produce "civic-minded EMTs and firefighters who are willing to apply their newly learned skills to community based programs as well as in local EMS and fire agencies." 


To find out more about Bay Area Youth EMT, visit them at www.bayemt.org


Highlighted Recent Verdicts  
  • On June 3, 2013, a jury convicted Anderson Williams of pimping and pandering a nineteen year woman from Oct. 8, 2012 to December 27, 2012. During that time, the defendant encouraged the victim to work as a prostitute and then took possession of all of her earnings. The defendant used violence and promises to maintain the relationship. The case was prosecuted by DDA Laura Passaglia.
  • On May 31, 2013, a jury convicted Daniel Lloyd Howard of murder, kidnapping, making criminal threats, conspiracy to commit a crime, and two counts of attempted murder. In September of 2010, the defendant's friend and fellow gang-member Rafael Tovar got into an altercation at a party at Tovar's house. When victim Justice Afoa tried to break up the fight, Tovar punched him. Afoa and several of his friends assaulted Tovar, hospitalizing him. Humiliated that he had been beaten unconscious by teenagers, Tovar enlisted defendant Howard in a revenge plot. On December 15, 2010, after several failed attempts, Tovar, Howard, and several other gang-members stabbed Justice Afoa, killing him. In Novermber of 2012, defendant Howard's girlfriend was expecting a baby. Howard received a phone call from Tovar's girlfriend, informing him that Tovar was the true father of the baby, not Howard. Enraged, defendant Howard confronted his girlfriend, threatening to kill her and her son. Defendant Howard bound her hands and feet, and prepared a slip-knot to hang his pregnat girlfriend from a tree in her backyard. The defendant's girlfiend was able to get her cell phone from her back pocket and dial 911. When the police arrived, Howard tried to use his girlfriend as a human shield, and then attempted to push her down a ravine into a creek. After police freed her from the makeshift noose, the victim told investigators that defendant Howard had admitted that he had assisted Tovar in killing Justice Afoa, and that he had stolen a mural from Afoa's memorial to display in his hat shop, and eventually burn as firewood. Defendant Howard will receive multiple life sentences. Rafael Tovar is being tried separately, along with another co-defendant. The prosecutor in this case was DDA Elgin Lowe.
  • On May 9, 2013, a jury convicted Christel Johnson of the second degree murder of her eight year-old daughter Lylah Johnson, who was severely disabled and suffering from brain damage, cerebral palsy and scoliosis.On March 11, 2011, the defendant placed Lylah inside the defendant's minivan, which was parked in the garage.The defendant attached a vacuum hose to the minivan's exhaust pipe and placed the other end through one of the van's rear windows. Lylah was found unconscious in the minivan with the engine still running. The defendant was also found in the garage. Both Lylah and the Defendant showed symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Lylah's cause of death was 82% carbon monoxide intoxication. The prosecutor was DDA Danny Lau. 

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

Elder Abuse Awareness Month
Amber Alert Amendment
Justice Academy Receives Award
DA's Present on Cyber-Safety
Local Focus: Bay Area Youth EMT
Recent 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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