General Crime

*Feb 2, 2009 SAN MATEO CO: REWARD REVIVES 30-YEAR-OLD MURDER CASE

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*Feb 2, 2009 OAKLAND THREE KILLED IN SEPARATE SHOOTINGS
*Feb 2, 2009 VALLEJO: TEEN SHOT WEDNESDAY DIES AT HOSPITAL SATURDAY
*Feb 2, 2009 OAKLAND BOY SAYS ‘I COULDN’T FEEL MY LEGS’ AFTER BEING SHOT AT LESSON
*Feb 2, 2009 SANTA ROSA: FOUR SENTENCED FOR BRUTAL ASSAULT AT SKATE PARK

Feb 2, 2009 SAN MATEO CO: REWARD REVIVES 30-YEAR-OLD MURDER CASE

The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office hopes a new round of investigation and a $5,000 reward will yield answers in the rape and murder of a Modesto woman 30 years ago.On the 30th anniversary of the murder of Roann Schweitzer, Sheriff Greg Munks said today his office is reexamining the case’s evidence and records. Munks also announced a new $5,000 reward, sponsored by the Carol Sund/Carrington Foundation. He hopes the reward will encourage tipsters to come forward.At a news conference today, foundation spokeswoman Jennifer Hicks said the organization seeks out cases like Schweitzer’s, with an innocent victim, family members still needing answers, and a timely anniversary on the horizon.”We have found this is an effective way to get information,” she said of the reward. Schweitzer was last seen alive February 2, 1979, in a San Francisco restaurant with her two daughters. Schweitzer, 43, went outside to retrieve her car and never came back.The next day, a hiker spotted Schweitzer’s body in the San Bruno Mountain area, up a small embankment near Guadalupe Canyon Parkway, in unincorporated San Mateo County. Tests concluded she had been sexually assaulted and shot, although it was unclear where the murder took place. Schweitzer’s car, a black and gold Ford Thunderbird, turned up in San Francisco, not far from the restaurant.Investigators have a DNA sample they believe belongs to the killer, but no witnesses to any portion of the night’s events.
Sgt. Linda Gibbons, who is heading the sheriff’s office effort, said advances in DNA technology could unearth answers that proved elusive back in 2001, when the department last examined Schweitzer’s purse and its contents for clues.Back then, investigators did find DNA belonging to a male, not Schweitzer’s husband. The profile was entered into the national DNA index, but did not produce a match. Six suspects, all San Francisco residents, were interviewed without result. Gibbons believes two of these individuals already have DNA in the national registry.Today, Gibbons said, all felony inmates in the state of California must submit DNA samples to this database. Modern technology has also expanded her office’s access to DNA registries across the country and across the world.Sgt. Bryan Cassandro was 36 years old when he first investigated Schweitzer’s case back in 1979. Today he is working with Gibbons to track down and re-interview the six initial suspects.  “It’s tough when we don’t have any witnesses,” he said. Munks said his office is hoping someone will come forward with “hearsay evidence,” or, better yet, direct evidence. Even seemingly
unimportant details can produce leads, he said.”It’s unlikely after 30 years the suspect didn’t tell somebody something,” Munks said Anyone with information related to the case should call the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office at (650) 363-4063, or the anonymous witness line, (800) 547-2700.

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Feb 2, 2009 OAKLAND THREE KILLED IN SEPARATE SHOOTINGS

Police today released the names of two men killed in two separate shootings in Oakland on Friday.The identity of a person who died in a third shooting Sunday night has not yet been released, according to Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason.The first shooting was reported at around 5:15 p.m. Friday at the intersection of 38th and Clarke streets, where officers found Oscar Montes-Ramirez, 45, fatally shot.The motive for the shooting appears to be robbery, according to Thomason.The second shooting was reported at 11:50 p.m. Friday in the 600 block of 30th Street, where police found two gunshot victims.Ronald Benjamin, a 23-year-old Oakland resident, was taken to Highland Hospital, where he died shortly after midnight. The second victim, another 23-year-old Oakland resident, was taken to a hospital in critical condition.The third shooting, Oakland’s fifth homicide so far this year, happened at 10:47 p.m. Sunday at 90th and Bancroft avenues.Police found the victim, a 20-year-old Oakland resident, shot inside his car, Thomason said. He was taken to Highland Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.Police are continuing to investigate the shootings, but haven’t made any arrests, Thomason said.

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Feb 2 2009 VALLEJO: TEEN SHOT WEDNESDAY DIES AT HOSPITAL SATURDAY

A 15-year-old Vallejo boy who was shot Wednesday night died Saturday afternoon at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. Vallejo police Lt. Abel Tenorio said this morning the boy no longer had brain activity and that the family had decided to remove him from life support.The Contra Costa County coroner’s office identified the teen as Emmanuel Hernandez. Hernandez was pronounced dead at 1:33 p.m. Saturday, the coroner’s office said.Vallejo police found Hernandez suffering from a gunshot wound in the roadway in the 200 block of Nebraska Street, near Sonoma Boulevard, around 8:20 p.m. Wednesday after receiving reports of shots fired. Tenorio said Hernandez has had no previous contact with Vallejo police. His death marks the second homicide in Vallejo this year, police said.

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Feb 2, 2009 OAKLAND BOY SAYS ‘I COULDN’T FEEL MY LEGS’ AFTER BEING SHOT AT LESSON

A wheelchair-bound 11-year-old Oakland boy testified today that he heard a bang and then couldn’t feel his legs when he was struck by an errant bullet while he was taking a piano lesson the afternoon of Jan. 10, 2008.Christopher Rodriguez, said his mother, who had been waiting in her car outside, rushed into the Harmony Road Music School at 4382 Piedmont Ave. in Oakland, near Pleasant Valley Road, shortly after he was struck and told him to repeat a prayer: “Wherever you are, God is and all is well.”Testifying calmly and in a matter-of-fact voice in the trial of Jared Adams, the man accused of shooting him, Christopher, said, “I asked her what happened and she said, “Calm down, calm down.'”Following her son on the witness stand, Jennifer Rodriguez said Christopher, who was only 10 at the time of the incident, told her, “I can’t move my legs and I don’t want to be paralyzed” after he was shot.She said, “He (Christopher) was pretty severely injured and there was some statement that he might not make it. It was touch and go for four of five days.”Doctors who have treated Christopher have said that he probably will remain paralyzed in the lower part of his body.Adams, a 25-year-old Oakland man, is accused of attempted murder, assault with a firearm, carjacking, robbery, evading police, possession of a stolen car, possession of a stolen gun, being an ex-felon in possession of a gun, shooting at an occupied vehicle and shooting at an occupied building for a string of incidents in late December 2007 and early January 2008. In her opening statements in Adams’ trial, Alameda County Chief Assistant District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said Adams, his former girlfriend, 20-year-old Maeve Clifford, and his friend, 24-year-old Ryan McGough of San Leandro, participated in a series of carjackings and car thefts to rebuild Clifford’s Chevrolet Camaro. O’Malley said former state Senate President Don Perata’s state-issued cherry-red Dodge Charger was carjacked at gunpoint near the intersection of 51st Street and Shattuck Avenue in Oakland about 1:45 p.m. on Dec. 29.Perata, who was unharmed, was on his way to deliver Christmas presents when he was carjacked. He’s expected to testify early next week.The car, which had 22-inch tire rims, was recovered in Richmond the next day, near the home of McGough’s mother.O’Malley said Christopher was injured when Adams, who was accompanied by Clifford, robbed a Chevron gas station at 4400 Piedmont Ave. in Oakland of $162 in cash and fired three shots at an attendant who was calling police.The prosecutor said one of the bullets penetrated the wall of the music school across the street and ripped through Christopher’s spleen, kidney and spine before lodging in his side.O’Malley said the other two bullets struck his mother’s sports utility vehicle outside the school, narrowly missing her as she talked to her husband on the phone. Adams and Clifford were arrested after a high-speed car chase that ended when their stolen Ford Mustang crashed into another car at 51st Street and Telegraph Avenue, then was pinned in by a patrol car, O’Malley said.O’Malley said it was “a miracle” that the woman and two young children in the car that was struck by Adams and Clifford only suffered minor injuries.She said if the impact point of the crash had been slightly different, the crash “likely would have killed all three people” in the other car.Clifford and McGough recently pleaded guilty to various charges in the case and are expected to testify against Adams. Clifford is expected to be sentenced to six years in state prison and McGough is expected to be sentenced to between 15 and 20 years.In his brief opening statement before Christopher took the witness stand, Adams’ attorney, Assistant Public Defender Brendan Woods, said, “I doubt there will be a dry eye in this courtroom” after Christopher testifies.But Woods told jurors that their job is to “somehow divorce yourself from this tragedy and decide this case on the evidence that I present to you.”Woods said he doesn’t think the evidence in the case will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Adams is guilty.In addition, Woods said Adams cannot be found guilty of attempted murder on the gas station attendant because Adams was drunk and didn’t purposely try to kill the man.Christopher, who was dressed in black pants, a black shirt with thin white stripes and a black tie, said he’s able to play wheelchair
basketball and is still able to play the piano.But he said he’s still in pain much of the time and takes pain-relief medicine every four hours. In addition, Christopher said his family had to move to another home in Oakland because he can no longer negotiate the many steps to their previous home.

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Feb 2 2009 SANTA ROSA: FOUR SENTENCED FOR BRUTAL ASSAULT AT SKATE PARK

Grief-stricken families of both the defendants and victims of a robbery and brutal sexual assault of two developmentally disabled men at a Santa Rosa skate park last year filled a Sonoma County Superior courtroom today for the sentencing of four of the five defendants.Eight bailiffs were present during the lengthy and emotional sentencing before Judge Kenneth Gnoss.All five young Santa Rosa men pleaded guilty or no contest in October to the numerous felony charges filed against them in connection with the April 26 incident at the skate park on Fulton Road in Santa Rosa.One of the victims was forced to go to an ATM machine around 1 a.m. and withdraw $260. When he returned to the skate park, he and the other victim were forced to perform oral sex on each other.The victims, ages 19 and 20 at the time, also were kicked and beaten by the suspects. They walked home and told their parents and were treated at a hospital for their injuries. Investigators who had prior contact with the suspects were able to positively identify them based on the victims’ descriptions of their assailants. Five suspects were arrested. A sixth suspect died in a motel of a drug overdose.Bryan Stanley, 21, was convicted of three counts of assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury, two counts of robbery, one county of kidnapping and one count of burglary. Gnoss sentenced him to 10 years in prison.Mark Echemendia, 19, was convicted of three assaults with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury, two counts of robbery and one count of kidnapping. He was sentenced to an eight-year prison term.Pierre Guidry, 19, was convicted of three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of robbery, one count of kidnapping, two counts of oral copulation, one count of attempted sodomy by threat and possession of a dangerous weapon. He was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in prison. Reid Rogers, 19, faced more than 39 years in prison. He was convicted of three counts of assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury, two counts of robbery, one count of kidnapping, two counts of oral copulation, two counts of intimidating a victim or witness and one count of sodomy by threat. Rogers cried in court as he apologized to the victims and their families. He said the events still made him sick to his stomach and said he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the offenses. His grandmother Rusty Wood said Rogers was abused as a child and alcoholism was prevalent in his family. His father Sean Rogers said the crimes were out of his son’s character and he warned him about hanging out at the skate park. “I’m begging the court for forgiveness, mercy and compassion,” Rogers’ attorney Jamie Thistlethwaite said. “I believe there is a chance for redemption,” she said.Gnoss sentenced Rogers to 23 years and eight months in prison. A fifth defendant, Fredrick Caddell Jr., 20, was also convicted of charges in connection with the incident. A sentencing date has not been set.

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1 Comment

  • The problem with human rights is that lot of criminals get freedom than the victims. When there is not much HR the criminals get locked up first & then the investigation commences where the lives of innocent victims get protected. What do we value most…..the life of innocent, law abiding citizen or the freedom of drug addict / psyhopath / criminal?

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