*Jan 23, Oakland Judge Denies Change Of Venue Motion In Perata Carjacking Case

Published by on January 12, 2009

Jan 23, 2009 OAKLAND JUDGE DENIES CHANGE OF VENUE MOTION IN PERATA CARJACKING CASE

A judge today denied a change of venue motion by an Oakland man who’s charged in connection with the carjacking of former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata’s car and a shooting that left a 10-year-old boy partially paralyzed.Alameda County Superior Court Judge Larry Goodman said he thinks Jared Adams, 25, can get a fair trial in the county because publicity about the two incidents, which occurred a little over a year ago, “has tapered off” after an initial flurry of media coverage immediately after they occurred.Goodman told defense attorney Brendon Woods, “There are 1.1 million potential jurors in this county and it’s hard to think you can’t find 12 people” who can sit on a jury and be impartial in a trial against Adams and co-defendant Ryan McGough, a 24-year-old San Leandro man.Goodman said eventhough many community members are outraged about the carjacking of Perata on Dec. 29, 2007, and the shooting of Christopher Rodriguez on Jan. 10, 2008, while he was taking a piano lesson, the crimes don’t stand out much compared to other horrible crimes in Oakland.”People in this community are bombarded with crime,” he said.In addition, Goodman said he thinks the public doesn’t necessarily believe everything that the news media reports.”The media is not the most credible source of information, especially the print media,” Goodman said.The judge told Woods, “You give too much credit to the public for reading it (news coverage about the case) and retainingit. “TheAlameda County Grand Jury indicted Adams, McGough, and 20-year-old Maeve Clifford, who was Adams’ girlfriend, on July 24 on a total of 21 felony counts for the carjacking of Perata’s car and the incident 12 days later in which a gas station was robbed and Rodriguez, who was 10 at the time, was shot as well as several other carjackings and auto thefts.The charges include attempted murder, assault with a firearm, robbery, carjacking, auto theft and receiving a stolen car.Clifford pleaded guilty Jan. 12 to robbery in connection with the gas station incident and being an accessory after the fact for the carjacking of Perata’s car. She also pleaded guilty to a clause that she knew that Adams was armed with a gun in the gas station incident. Clifford’s plea agreement calls for her to be sentenced to six years in state prison if she testifies truthfully against Adams and McGough.After the defendants were indicted, O’Malley said the defendants used the fancy tire rims and other car parts that they grabbed in the carjackings and car thefts to rebuild Clifford’s Camaro.The indictment alleges that a 2006 red Dodge Charger was taken from Perata, D Oakland, at gunpoint near the intersection of 51st Street and Shattuck Avenue in Oakland about 1:45 p.m. on Dec. 29, 2007. Perata, who was unharmed, was on his way to deliver Christmas presents when he was carjacked The car, which had 22-inch tire rims, was recovered in Richmond the next day, near the home of McGough’s mother. According to Oakland police, the bullet that injured Rodriguez was one of several shots fired during a robbery attempt at a Chevron gas station at 4400 Piedmont Ave. at Pleasant Valley Road around 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 10, 2008. The bullet traveled across the street and into the Harmony Road Music School, where Rodriguez was taking a lesson.The bullet entered Rodriguez’s abdomen and ripped through his spleen, kidney and spine before lodging in his spine.Adams and Clifford were arrested a short distance away after leading police on a high-speed chase in a Ford Mustang they had recently stolen, according to the indictment.Woods said “the nature of the pretrial publicity has been pretty extensive” in Adams’ case and said the case also “has political overtones” because Perata has said that he wants to run to be mayor of Oakland and O’Malley “probably will be the successor to Tom Orloff” as Alameda County district attorney. Woods also said Rodriguez “is extremely popular in the community” and “is almost a celebrity because of this, as former Golden State Warriors star Baron Davis give him courtside tickets for a basketball game and the San Francisco Giants baseball team invited him to throw out the first pitch at a game.But Goodman, who said he’s known Perata for 30 years, said the fact that Perata is well-known and may run for office again shouldn’t affect Adams’ ability to get a trial.”There’s probably as many people who are not crazy about Perata that like Perata,” Goodman said.As for Rodriguez, the judge said, “He has gained some stature in the community but that doesn’t mean the community can’t give the defendant (Adams) a fair trial.”A panel of potential jurors filled out informational questionnaires this week and will return to court next week to be questioned by the attorneys in the case. Opening statements tentatively are scheduled for Feb. 2, depending on whether a jury has been selected by then.

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Jan 23, 2009 MARTINEZ MAN ACCUSED OF MOLESTING GIRLS AT DAYCARE FACILITY TO BE ARRAIGNED TODAY

A 54-year-old man arrested Thursday for allegedly molesting two girls at an in-home daycare facility in Martinez is scheduled to be arraigned today in Contra Costa County Superior Court.James Jensen has been charged with seven counts of committing lewd acts on two girls under the age of 14. He also faces an enhancement for allegedly molesting multiple victims, Deputy District Attorney Dara Cashman said today.If convicted of all the charges and the enhancement, Jensen could face up to 35 years in prison, Cashman said.According to Martinez police Cmdr. Eric Ghisletta, the investigation began Dec. 15 when an 8-year-old girl told her mother something suspicious happened at her care provider’s home, a state-licensed day care facility in Martinez.With help from the county’s Child Interview Center, police talked to the girl about what had allegedly happened to her and obtained a warrant for Jensen’s arrest. He was taken into custody Dec.19,but posted bail a short time later.During the course of the investigation, officials identified a second alleged victim, also a girl under the age of 14. Police said Jensen was again taken into custody without incident Thursday. He was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility. According to Cashman, Jensen’s wife had the daycare license. The couple had cared for three children in their home together, but then his wife got a new job and Jensen continued to care for the children by himself.Police said the State of California Community Care Licensing agency has been notified of the charges.

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Jan 23, 2009 DANVILLE: POLICE ARREST 15-YEAR-OLD BOY IN CONNECTION WITH FATAL SHOOTING

Police arrested a 15-year-old boy in Oakley early this morning in connection with the fatal shooting of Danville resident Rylan Fuchs on Tuesday night, the local police chief said at a news conference today.
Police believe the motive for the shooting was drug related, Danville police Chief Chris Wenzel said.Fuchs, who would have graduated from San Ramon Valley High School in June, was shot once in the neck on the front porch of his family’s home in the 1000 block of El Captain Drive at about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday.The 17-year-old student died at John Muir Medical Center early Wednesday morning, Contra Costa County sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee said.Danville police and the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office have been working on the case nonstop since the shooting.The suspect, whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile, is an Alameda County resident, but he was staying in Oakley with relatives when sheriff’s deputies arrested him at about 2 a.m. He was booked into juvenile hall in Martinez. The homicide was Danville’s first since 2007.

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Jan 23, 2009 DANVILLE SUSPECT ARRESTED IN FATAL SHOOTING

Police arrested a 15-year-old boy early this morning in connection with the fatal shooting of a Danville teenager Tuesday night, but people close to the victim still have a lot of questions about what led up to the
killing.Rylan Fuchs, 17, was shot once in the neck on the front porch of his family’s home in the 1000 block of El Captain Drive at about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday. He died at John Muir Medical Center early Wednesday morning, Contra Costa County sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee said.”I just want to know what happened,” Fuchs’ 16-year-old girlfriend Paulina Wszolek said after a news conference at the Danville Police Department today. “We’re not going to have closure until we know.”She said she had been dating Fuchs for 11 months and, after he was killed, had gotten a tattoo in his honor. She was also wearing a T-shirt memorializing him and three necklaces, two that were his and one that he had given her. Fuchs had found one of the necklaces, which said, “Have a Happy Day,” and Wszolek said that one always made her boyfriend laugh.Wszolek said Fuchs knew the suspect and had told her they were friends, but she had not met him personally.Danville police Chief Chris Wenzel said investigators believe the shooting may have been drug-related. “He (Fuchs) was such a good guy with such a good heart, but he trusted people too much,” Paulina Wszolek’s mother Grace Wszolek said. “He was so sweet and he would never hurt anyone.”Two of Fuchs’ friends also showed up at the news conference. They said they were skipping finals today because the tests didn’t seem to matter anymore.The two boys had known Fuchs, who would have graduated from San Ramon Valley High School in June, since middle school and often hung out with him on weekends. “He was a very fun, nice guy so it was hard not to be his friend,” Justin De Young said.The suspect, whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile, was arrested at about 2 a.m. today at a relative’s house in Oakland. He has been booked into juvenile hall in Martinez.While Paulina Wszolek said she knows punishing the alleged shooter won’t bring Fuchs back, she said she hopes the boy who allegedly shot him “sits in jail for a long time. … I hope it haunts him.”

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Jan 23, 2009 SAN FRANCISCO DA NOT REFILING CHARGES AGAINST MENTALLY ILL WOMAN SHOT BY POLICE

Prosecutors will not refile assault charges against a 56-year-old mentally ill San Francisco woman who was shot several times by police in 2008, authorities confirmed today.Police said Teresa Sheehan threatened her social worker and two female police officers with a knife when they went to check on her well-being at her Mission District transitional housing apartment Aug. 7.The officers first tried pepper spray, but then shot Sheehan multiple times after they said she advanced on them with the knife.A superior court jury on Dec. 17 acquitted Sheehan of making criminal threats against the officers and deadlocked 11-1 in favor of not guilty on two counts of assaulting a police officer with a deadly weapon and 7-5 in favor of not guilty on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.Prosecutors announced at a court hearing last Friday that they would not be refiling the deadlocked charges. They had no further comment about the case today.Sheehan, who is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and had been refusing medication at the time of the incident, according to her social worker, sat through the trial in a wheelchair, recovering from wounds to her face, hip, chest and arm.Her attorney Kleigh Hathaway said today that Sheehan has resumed taking her medication and on Thursday was moved from San Francisco General Hospital to a residential housing facility In the city for the mentally ill.”She’s still in a wheelchair, but she is improving slowly,”said Hathaway.Sheehan may have also suffered permanent damage to her right hand, Hathaway added. Hathaway had maintained the police response was excessive force, and that other officers were just arriving with less-lethal options. Both officers have since returned to duty.

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