Did You Know...? Monthly Newsletter Issue 6, 2014
From the Office of Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley
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MISSION STATEMENT

To review and prosecute criminal violations of the laws, to protect consumers and the environment and to support and protect victims of crime within the County on behalf of the people of the State of California.


Success in the Courtroom
June and July were busy months in court. Over the two month period, this office tried to verdict multiple misdemeanor and felony cases. Serious felony trials included:
  • On June 3, 2014, a jury found defendant Ollie Boyd guilty of assault with a deadly weapon.
  • On June 5, 2014, a jury convicted Bryan Vulgamore of second degree murder for the January 2002 killing of Cecilia Garcia in Livermore.
  • On June 12, 2014, a jury convicted Damien Jones of second degree murder with the use of a firearm, and four more firearms related felonies.
  • On June 20, 2014, a jury convicted Christopher Arthur Purcell of 22 counts of oral copulation of a person under 18 and five counts of sodomy of a person under 18.
  • On July 1, 2014, a jury found defendant Jose Garcia Lopez guilty of felony stalking.
  • On July 8, 2014, a jury found Arthur Esver guilty of five felony counts of sexual abuse.
     
  • On July 8, 2014, a jury convicted Joseph Thomas Connors of first degree murder with special circumstances.
  • On July 9, 2014, a jury convicted Kenyus Deshon Walker of first degree murder and personal and intentional discharge of a firearm causing death.
  • On July 10, 2014, a jury convicted Deontay Laquawn Wilson of robbery with the use of a firearm.
For a full description of all felony and misdemeanor verdicts, please visit our website.

Public Protection Cases

The Consumer, Environmental, and Worker Protection Division (CEWPD) reached settlements in important civil cases that affect the well-being of all Californians:

 

Sysco Corporation Settles Multi-Million Dollar Consumer Protection Lawsuit Brought by District Attorneys

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley announced that Sysco Corporation, the country's largest food distribution company, and its California Operating Companies (OpCos) will pay almost $20 million dollars in restitution, costs and penalties as a result of, among other things, the OpCos' illegal practice of holding perishable foods in unregistered and/or unrefrigerated storage sheds.

In addition, to paying $15 million dollars in penalties, Sysco has agreed to pay over $4 million in restitution, including a food contribution to food banks throughout California worth $1,000,000, and $3,300,000 for the cost of five year statewide program to fund inspectors and the enforcement of food transportation laws. Sysco has also been enjoined from engaging in the alleged unsafe food transportation and storage practices and has been required develop a comprehensive food safety program to ensure that these practices are not repeated.

"Our State laws governing the safe transport and storage of foods are vital to ensuring the health and well-being of all consumers," commented DA O'Malley. "When a company like Sysco ignores the safeguards it must legally take to ensure that food is safe to eat, it puts us all in danger. I applaud the outcome of this action, and assure the community that my Office will be vigilant in prosecuting illegal conduct that puts us all at risk."

On June 30, 2014, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley announced that the Office's Consumer and Environmental Protection Division, along with Riverside and San Diego District Attorneys' Offices and the California State Board of Pharmacy, has settled a $498,250 lawsuit against the owners of the Rite Aid pharmacy chain in California.

The civil complaint, filed in San Diego Superior Court, alleges that California Rite Aid pharmacists frequently failed to comply fully with the Board's rules requiring personal pharmacist consultations when prescription drug customers receive new prescriptions or new dosages of existing prescriptions.
Co-Defendants Receive Life Sentences for  
Murder of Three Year Old Child 
On July 23, defendants Willie Antawn Torrence and Lawrence Denard received life sentences (121 years to life and 137 years to life respectively) for the 2011 killing of 3-year-old Carlos Nava in Oakland, and the attempted murder of two other victims.

In late June 2014, the defendants were found guilty of murder and two counts of attempted murder, along with additional felonies. The jury also found that the crimes were committed in furtherance of a criminal street gang.

On August 8, 2011, the defendants murdered three-year-old Carlos Nava during a brazen drive-by shooting at approximately 1:00 in the afternoon on the 65th block of International Blvd. in Oakland. The little boy was struck with a bullet while his mother pushed him down the sidewalk on his scooter. The defendants opened fire, striking, but not killing two other men. The jury convicted the defendants of premeditated attempted murder of those two victims.

"Every loss of life due to street violence is magnified when the victim is a child. The defendants' callous disregard for the safety of a neighborhood took the innocent life of three year old Carlos" states DA O'Malley. "My message is loud and clear: anyone who shoots and kills our children will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We will not tolerate this level of violence of the streets of Oakland or any other city in this county."

"I'm deeply grateful that justice was realized through the jury's verdicts in this case," stated Deputy District Attorney Ben Beltramo, the prosecutor. "As always, our thoughts go out to the Nava family and to the other victims."
Chief Brad Kearns Retires; New Chief of Inspectors, Robert Chenault Sworn In
Left to right: Chief Assistant DA Kevin Dunleavy, Captain of Inspectors Bob Connor, DA Nancy O'Malley, Chief of Inspectors Robert Chenault, Captain of Inspectors Jon Kennedy, Captain of Inspectors Craig Chew
On July 3, 2014, Chief of Inspectors, Robert Chenault was sworn into office before a large gathering of law enforcement leaders, members of the DA's Office, judges and family.

Prior to becoming an Inspector with the Alameda County DA's Office, Chief Chenault worked for the Oakland Police Department for 28 years and retired as a sergeant. While at OPD, he worked in the Robbery and Homicide Sections, and was also the supervisor of the Intelligence Section. After retiring from Oakland, Chief Chenault briefly worked at the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department before joining the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. During his years at the DA's Office, Chief Chenault worked with the H.E.A.T. Unit, supervised teams, served as a member of the Officer Involved Shooting Team, and led the SAFE task force. Under his leadership and supervision, the SAFE task force has emerged as a statewide model.

Chief Brad Kearns retired from the Office on June 20, 2014 after serving ten years as Chief of Inspectors. Chief Kearns' law enforcement career includes nearly 39 years as an Oakland police officer, as well as  Chief of the Moraga Police Department in Contra Costa County. Chief Kearns' career and retirement were celebrated with hundreds of well-wishers, colleagues, friends and family at a lunch on June 18, 2014. Chiefs of Police from throughout the state, judges, elected officials and prosecutors were all on hand to bid him farewell.
New, incoming Chief, Robert Chenault (right), at the Reitrement Celebration of Chief  Brad Kearns (left)
Gov. Brown Signs Alameda County DA Sponsored Bills into Law
In July, two bills, originated from the Alameda County DA's Office, were signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.

SB 978: On July 18, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 978 into law. This bill, authored by Senator Mark DeSaulnier, and sponsored by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley, provides a significant change to a law that ensures victims of sexual assault receive timely rape crisis counseling services. SB 978 allows a hospital to notify the local Rape Crisis Center when a victim arrives for a medical or evidentiary physical examination after a sexual assault. Prior to the passage of this bill, only law enforcement was required to notify the Rape Crisis Center.

AB 1900: Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1900 into law. This bill, authored by Assemblymember Bill Quirk and sponsored by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley, provides important changes to sections of California's Penal Code that contain references to outdated technology regarding video recordings.

AB 1900 simply updates the Penal Code sections that still use the term "videotape" by replacing that term with "video-recording."  Videotapes and videocassette recorders (VCR) are technologies that are rarely used anymore.  Most video cameras manufactured today record to a hard drive or some type of removable media card.  Many forms of technology including cellphones and tablets have the capability to record videos.
Local High School Students Graduate
from 2014 DA Justice Academy
DAJA students giving their closing remarks at the Eden Valley Cohort graduation ceremony, held inside the Hayward City Council Chambers
In late July, the 2014 District Attorney's Justice Academy (DAJA) concluded. 23 students graduated from the Tri-Valley cohort and 28 students from the Eden Area cohort. The students delivered speeches that demonstrated what they learned throughout the course of the Academy. Presentation topics included human trafficking, bullying, California legislation, the rape kit backlog, and law enforcement measures.

The District Attorney's Justice Academy will accept applications for the Class of 2015 in Fall of 2014. Throughout the six month program, students who are ages 16-18 meet regularly for seminars that cover a wide variety of topics in the fields of criminal justice, social justice, law and the courts. When the school year ends, students are placed in a paid, summer internship at local agencies or non-profit organizations related to the students' interests.
Applications Now Open for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office
Earl Warren Fellowships
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley is pleased to announce Fellowships for the upcoming semester in honor of former United States Chief Justice Earl Warren who served as District Attorney of Alameda County from 1925 to 1938. Earl Warren's legacy lives on in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. He set the standard in shaping our office's reputation for fairness, integrity, and professionalism.

The Earl Warren Fellowship is offered to recent college graduates who are planning to go to law school. The Fellowship is a full time paid position that will entail assisting deputy district attorneys. The Fellows will support the prosecution team in trial preparation and learn first-hand the inner workings of the District Attorney's Office.

The goal of the Fellowship is to further inspire and motivate future law students in their pursuit of a legal career.

To apply for an EARL WARREN FELLOWSHIP students are requested to submit a resume and cover letter detailing a brief biography defining who they are as a person and why it is they are interested in pursuing a legal career in the area of criminal law.

Please forward your resume and cover letter to Ms. Towanda Lee by Friday August 29, 2014. Email the requested documents to
Towanda.lee@acgov.org
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