Category Archives: Oakland news

Man Gets 25-Years To Life In 2013 Oakland Hills Paramedic Murder

OAKLAND (CBS SF) – An Oakland man who was only 16 at the time was sentenced Friday to 25 years to life in state prison for the shooting death of an off-duty paramedic in the Oakland hills six years ago.

Christian Burton, now 22, was convicted Oct. 31 of first-degree murder and the special circumstance of committing a murder during a carjacking for the fatal shooting of Santa Clara County paramedic Quinn Boyer, 34, shortly before noon on April 2, 2013.

However, jurors didn’t find that Burton was the person who shot Boyer, who lived in Dublin and had been married for less than a year.

Boyer crashed his car down a ravine in the 5200 block of Keller Avenue after he was shot and died two days later of a single gunshot wound to his head.

Quinn Boyer, a Santa Clara County paramedic, was fatally shot in the Oakland Hills on April 2, 2013. (Family Photo / Bay City News Service)

Quinn Boyer, a Santa Clara County paramedic, was fatally shot in the Oakland Hills on April 2, 2013. (Family Photo / Bay City News Service)

Boyer grew up in Oakland and had been in the city that day to take his father to a medical appointment.

Alameda County prosecutor Jimmie Wilson said after the verdict that he believes Burton was the shooter but jurors had reasonable doubt about that because the only eyewitness in the case, a woman who’s now 80 years old, identified another teen, Nazhee Flowers, as the person she thought shot Boyer.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kevin Murphy said the “ambiguity” about whether Burton, who was with five other teens at the time, was the shooter is one of the reasons he decided to sentence Burton to 25 years to life instead of life in prison without parole.

Murphy said another reason is that Burton didn’t have a significant previous criminal record.

Burton’s lawyer Ernie Castillo said sentencing Burton to life in prison “would be too oppressive, too excessive” because he has a very low IQ, suffers from a learning disability and grew up in a troubled and abusive home.

But Wilson asked for the maximum sentence possible, saying, “I don’t think Mr. Burton cares about what he did. I think that’s sad and that’s tragic.”

Boyer’s wife Liz Boyer also said that during the six years of Burton’s legal proceedings, “I’ve seen nothing to show that Mr. Burton really cares about the level of devastation he’s caused, the amount of pain.”

Liz Boyer said she and Quinn Boyer had been married for less that a year when he was killed and the day before the shooting he had surprised her by buying plane tickets to Hawaii to celebrate their first anniversary.

Wilson said during Burton’s trial that the fatal shooting of Quinn Boyer occurred during a crime spree in which he and the five other teens who played hooky from school on that spring day committed two carjackings and a robbery in addition to the shooting.

Wilson alleged that the teens wanted to carjack Boyer’s Honda Civic, as he had pulled his car off to the side of the road to use his cellphone.

But Castillo told jurors in his closing argument that they should find Burton not guilty because the eyewitness’s description of the shooter matched Flowers, not Burton.

This was Burton’s second trial for the death of Boyer because his first trial in 2015 ended in a mistrial with jurors deadlocked 7-5 in favor of finding him guilty.

Co-defendant David McNeal, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, was found guilty of first-degree murder in that same 2015 trial and was sentenced to 48 years to life in state prison for his role in the crime, which was providing the gun that was used to kill Boyer.

Three of other teens involved in the crime pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in juvenile court for being accessories and are serving their sentences with the state Division of Juvenile Justice.

Flowers, the person who Castillo alleges was the teen who shot Boyer, pleaded guilty in adult court to a carjacking charge and was sentenced to 15 years in state prison.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Raiders To Stay In Oakland For 2019 After City Council Approves Coliseum Lease

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The Oakland City Council on Thursday morning voted unanimously to extend the Raider’s lease agreement for this season with an option for the 2020-2021 season, according to city officials.

The vote was cast during a special council meeting at City Hall Thursday morning a press release from council member Rebecca Kaplan said.

The approval by the Oakland City Council comes after Alameda County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the lease agreement on Tuesday.

The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority commissioners had already approved the lease deal with a unanimous vote on Friday.

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© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

 

Oakland Marks 10-Year Anniversary Of Day 4 Officers Slain In Line Of Duty

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — The Oakland Police Department held a memorial Thursday to mark the ten-year anniversary of the death of four officers, shot by a wanted felon.

Police officers gathered at Saint Benedict Catholic Church to remember the tragic day that left Oakland and the Bay Area in mourning.

On March 21, 2009, Officer John Hege and Sergeant Mark Dunakin were shot during a traffic stop of a wanted felon linked to a series of violent rapes. Dunakin was pronounced dead at the scene while Hege died of his injuries three days later.

SWAT team members Sergeant Ervin Romans and Daniel Sakai were killed by the same suspect later that day while storming an apartment looking for him. Their fellow officers then shot and killed the suspect.

At the time, it was the deadliest attack U.S. law enforcement since the September 11 attacks and the deadliest in California since 1970.

“Our fallen heroes are never forgotten,” said Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick.

“This is just a stark reminder to us what a dangerous job our police officers have and that as a city we mourn every loss of life,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.

The city holds a memorial for the officers every year, but for many of their comrades, time has not healed the pain even after 10 years.

“We have officers who just couldn’t come to work today,” said Kirkpatrick. “It’s too hard on them.”

OPD made sure that all beats around the city were covered during Thursday’s memorial. Many of the attendees came in on their days off, others made sure that the shifts were covered.

Ghost Ship Trial Defense Attorney Asks For 6-Month Delay

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The lawyer for Ghost Ship warehouse creative director Max Harris filed a motion this week asking to delay the trial of Harris and warehouse master tenant Derick Almena by six months because of newly discovered evidence.

Almena, 48, and Harris, 29, are charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the fire during a music party that killed 36 people at the warehouse at 1309 31st Ave. on Dec. 2, 2016.

Last Sept. 7, Alameda County Superior Court Judge James Cramer scheduled the long-awaited trial of Almena and Harris to begin on April 2.

Ghost Ship Fire defendants Derick Almena and Max Harris (CBS)

At a recent hearing, Judge Trina Thompson, who was later appointed to handle the case, indicated that she expects the trial to be lengthy, as she talked to the attorneys in the case about their availability the last week of August.

But Harris’ attorney Max Briggs wrote in a motion he filed on Tuesday that he wants to delay the trial for 180 days so he has time to investigate what he said are “recently discovered facts which considerably impact defense strategy.”

Briggs said, “The first issue cannot be discussed publicly or shared in detail with the public or prosecution as it would impede Mr. Harris’ defense, involve improper disclosure of defense work product and could interfere with my investigation if specifics were reported in the media.”

Although the attorneys in the case were told to keep their calendars clear for the trial of Almena and Harris, Briggs said another reason he wants the trial to be delayed is that he’s scheduled to begin a trial on what he said is a “life case” in San Mateo County next Monday, a misdemeanor trial in San Joaquin County on April 19 and a death penalty trial in Fresno County on April 29.

Briggs said he’s also scheduled to begin the retrial of another life case in Mendocino County on April 29.

“Without a 180-day continuance, Mr. Harris will be deprived of reasonably effective assistance of counsel and will not receive his Sixth Amendment right to counsel,” he wrote.

On Friday, Thompson will hold a hearing on Briggs’ motion to delay the trial as well as a defense motion to dismiss the charges against Almena and Harris on the grounds that potentially exonerating evidence was destroyed, lost or altered under the watch of prosecutors.

Thompson previously said she expected the hearing on that issue alone would take a full day.

Almena’s lawyer Tony Serra filed a motion last week asking that prosecutors be prohibited from making references to negative information about Almena, such as his use of drugs, including methamphetamines, that his children were temporarily placed with Alameda County Child Protective Services and that he has a misdemeanor conviction for receiving stolen property.

Serra said he also wants prosecutors barred from mentioning that Almena “pretended, as a joke, that he was Hitler and Harris was his Jewish slave.”

In addition, Serra wrote that he wants to bar “any reference to the warehouse or Ghost Ship that calls it a fire trap or synonym or any opinion or conclusion regarding the unsafety of the premises.”

Serra said introducing such information would “create substantial danger of undue prejudice, of confusing the issues, or of misleading the jury.”

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Raiders To Stay In Oakland For 2019 After City Council Approves Coliseum Lease

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The Oakland City Council voted Thursday morning to extend the Raider’s lease agreement for this season with an option for the 2021 season, according to city officials.

The vote was cast during a special council meeting at City Hall Thursday morning a press release from council member Rebecca Kaplan said.

The approval by the Oakland City Council comes after Alameda County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the lease agreement on Tuesday.

The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority commissioners had already approved the lease deal with a unanimous vote on Friday.

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The National Football League had imposed a March 24 deadline for the Raiders to find a place to play their home games this fall.

The Raiders plan to move to Las Vegas in the near future but a new football stadium that’s being built for them there won’t be ready until the fall of 2020 at the earliest.

The Coliseum Authority and the Raiders had reached a tentative agreement for a new lease late last year but it fell apart after the city filed a federal breach of contract lawsuit in December against the Raiders and the National Football League for the move to Las Vegas.

Many fans feared that the Raiders’ game against Denver last Dec. 24 would be the team’s final game in Oakland and the team explored the possibility of playing this fall at other venues outside and inside the Bay Area, including Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara and Oracle Park in San Francisco.

However, nothing materialized so the Raiders resumed negotiating with the Coliseum Authority. Scott McKibben, the authority’s executive director, said after the authority’s board meeting on Friday that the lease agreement calls for the rent the Raiders pay to the authority to increase by $4 million this year, from $3.5 million to $7.5 million.

McKibben said if the new stadium in Las Vegas isn’t ready by the fall of 2020 and the Raiders need to play in Oakland for a second additional season the rent will increase even more, to $10.5 million.

McKibben said the agreement also calls for the city and county to get all the revenue from the naming rights to the Coliseum if the authority finds a new sponsor for the stadium and for a cap on game-day expenses, which he said can be costly.

“When [Raiders owner] Mark Davis took the deal off the table I told him to look at other options if he wanted but to remember us,” McKibben said. “They did their window shopping but they realized they had a good deal here,” even if the new lease is less favorable to the Raiders than previous leases.

The new lease agreement has no impact on the current lawsuit the city of Oakland is pursuing against the Raiders and the NFL over the move to Las Vegas.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

New Polls Confirm Kamala Harris Is A Top Dem. Candidate For 2020

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — It may be hard to believe for San Franciscans who think of Kamala Harris as a local politician, but her presidential campaign is going pretty well. New polling data confirms she’s one of the top candidates

Since her campaign kickoff two months ago, Senator Harris has been polling at the top of the pack of Democrats running for president. In every national poll, she’s been in third place behind Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders.

Two new polls confirm Harris’s status as a leading candidate: a CNN poll and an Emerson College poll show her with 12 percent of the vote, behind Biden and Sanders and just in front of Beto O’Rourke.

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“Everyone else is basically fighting to be famous. So she’s the one non-famous candidate who has captured the imagination of a lot of democrats,” said Ryan Lizza, the chief political correspondent at Esquire, on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

According to the poll aggregator at RealClearPolitics, since her campaign kickoff in Oakland on Jan. 27, Harris has been polling nationwide at 8 to 15 percent.

Jason McDaniel, a politics professor at San Francisco State, says Harris is doing so well despite not being very well known. This means that, unlike Biden or Sanders, she has a lot of room to grow

“People like Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, they’re very well known already. Universally, almost, among Democratic voters, and so I think their ceiling is where they are right now,” said McDaniel.