General Crime

*Jan 30, OAKLAND: UPDATE: JUDGE SAYS MEHSERLE MADE INCONSISTENT STATEMENTS

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*Jan 30, 2009 OAKLAND: JUDGE THREATENS TO FIND BROUSSARD’S ATTORNEY IN CONTEMPT
*Jan 30 2009 SAN JOSE SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR HIT-AND-RUN THAT SERIOUSLY INJURED BOY
*Jan 30, SANTA ROSA: MOTORIST TASERED AND ARRESTED AFTER PURSUIT
*Jan 30, SALINAS:REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER ARRESTED AFTER REMOVING MONITORING DEVICE
*Jan 30, SANTA CLARA CO. INTERNET COMPANY EMPLOYEE, UP TO THREE YEARS IMPRISONMENT
*Jan 30, MORGAN HILL: MAN STABBED, SECURITY GUARD ASSAULTED IN BAR PARKING LOT
*Jan 30,SF: COURT UPHOLDS MARIN MAN’S MOLESTATION CONVICTION AND 200-YEAR SENTENCE

Jan 30, 2009 OAKLAND: UPDATE: JUDGE SAYS MEHSERLE MADE INCONSISTENT STATEMENTS

A judge said today that he set a high bail of $3 million for former Bay Area Rapid Transit police Officer Johannes Mehserle because he thinks Mehserle gave an “inconsistent story” about why he shot and killed Oscar Grant III at the Fruitvale station in Oakland early New Year’s Day.Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson said it appears to him that Mehserle, who is charged with murder in connection with the highly publicized incident, wanted to “make up a story to avoid the consequences of his actions.”At a packed hearing that lasted nearly an hour, Jacobson said Mehserle told fellow BART police officers that he was going to use a Taser on Grant, a 22-year-old Hayward man, but after Mehserle shot Grant he told a colleague, “I thought he had a gun.” The judge said Mehserle’s statements “seem to be inconsistent” because if Mehserle truly believed that Grant had a gun then Mehserle would have been justified to pull out his gun and use deadly force and wouldn’t have needed to use his Taser.Jacobson said that because he believes Mehserle hasn’t been totally forthcoming about his actions he has “a lack of trust at promises that he will appear for future court hearings.”Before Jacobson ruled on Mehserle’s bail motion, the former officer’s attorney, Michael Rains, said that the shooting was “a tragic accident” and Mehserle only intended to use his Taser. Rains said he thinks Mehserle should only be charged with involuntary manslaughter and consequently his bail should only be $30,000, which is the standard bail for that lesser charge. Since surrendering to authorities on Jan. 14, Mehserle, 27, has been held without bail at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on charges that he shot Grant in the back while Grant was lying face down on the ground at the Fruitvale station platform when police responded to reports that there had been a fight on a train. Mehserle resigned the week after the shooting incident, which provoked widespread outrage and protests.Using standard legal language, Jacobson said Mehserle is entitled to bail because he doesn’t think there is clear and convincing evidence that there’s a substantial likelihood that releasing the former officer from custody would result in great bodily injury to others.Jacobson said no-bail status normally is reserved only for defendants facing the death penalty or other extremely serious crimes such as treason. Rains was not immediately available to comment on whether Mehserle will be able to post bail.

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Jan 30, 2009 :OAKLAND: POLICE ARREST NINE IN DEMONSTRATION AFTER MEHSERLE HEARING

Nine people were arrested today in a demonstration that followed a bail hearing for former Bay Area Rapid Transit police Officer Johannes Mehserle, who has been charged with murder for the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant III early New Year’s Day. Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said four juveniles and five adults had been arrested as of about 8 p.m., all for failing to disperse.Additionally, one police vehicle was damaged and officers deployed tear gas at Seventh Street and Broadway, Thomason said.Protesters prompted a brief closure of the 12th Street/Oakland City Center BART station, according to BART.A judge said today that he set bail at $3 million for Mehserle because he thinks Mehserle gave an “inconsistent story” about why he shot Grant at the Fruitvale station in Oakland.Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson said it appears to him that Mehserle, who is charged with murder in connection with the highly publicized incident, wanted to “make up a story to avoid the consequences of his actions.”

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Jan 30, 2009 OAKLAND: JUDGE THREATENS TO FIND BROUSSARD’S ATTORNEY IN CONTEMPT

A judge today threatened to find the attorney for the man accused of murdering journalist Chauncey Bailey in Oakland in August 2007 in contempt of court because he didn’t show up for a hearing at which a trial date was to be set.Referring to LaRue Grim, the lawyer for 21-year-old Devaughndre Broussard, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson said, “He really needs to be here next week or I’ll issue an order to show cause why there shouldn’t be sanctions.”Jacobson apologized to Broussard that Grim didn’t show up and set his next hearing for Feb. 20. It’s now expected that a trial date will be set at that time.Jacobson said of Grim, who in the past has shown up after 11 a.m. for hearings that are on Jacobson’s 9 a.m. calendar, “I’m ordering him to be here at 9 a.m. next time and he can tell me why he didn’t show up today.”Jacobson’s morning calendar normally runs until noon but he ended it at 11 a.m. today because he wants to get ready for a bail hearing for former Bay Area Rapid Transit police Officer Johannes Mehserle at 2 p.m. because extra security measures are being taken.Mehserle is accused of murder for the shooting death of Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale station in Oakland early on New Year’s Day.Bailey, 57, was shot three times and killed at about 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 2, 2007, as he was walking from his home near Lake Merritt to his job as editor of the Oakland Post at 405 14th St., near City Hall.The shooting on 14th Street near Alice Street, less than a block
away from a McDonald’s restaurant where Bailey, 57, had stopped to have breakfast, shocked the Oakland community and journalists around the country and the world.Broussard told Oakland police shortly after the incident that he killed Bailey because he was upset about the journalist’s reporting on the bakery’s financial problems.But questions remain about whether Broussard acted alone or was even directly involved at all because he later recanted his confession and said the only reason he confessed in the first place is that Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV, 22, ordered him to do so. Prosecutor Chris Lamiero said after today’s hearing that he was hoping that Broussard’s trial would start in late March or early April. But he said it now looks like it won’t start until late April at the earliest.

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Jan 30 2009 SAN JOSE SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR HIT-AND-RUN THAT SERIOUSLY INJURED BOY

A 19-year-old man was arrested this afternoon in connection with a Monday hit-and-run crash that injured a father and critically wounded his 8-year-old son, a police sergeant said.Marvin Martinez, of San Jose, was taken into custody at about 3:30 p.m. today at Suvianda, a market on South White Road near Story Road, where he works, Sgt. Mike Sullivan said.Investigators identified Martinez as the suspect after receiving multiple anonymous tips, according to Sullivan. Martinez was arrested for felony hit-and-run, Sullivan said.The boy who was injured in the crash remained at the hospital today in serious condition, Sullivan said.The boy and his father were walking in a crosswalk at Story Road and Adrian Way on their way to Mildred K. Goss Elementary School when they were struck around 8 a.m. Monday, according to Sullivan.The father and son were crossing on a green light, Sullivan said.  Following the collision, the car continued east on Story Road. The boy suffered a head injury and was knocked unconscious, and the father sustained an injury to his leg.

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Jan 30, 2009 SANTA ROSA: MOTORIST TASERED AND ARRESTED AFTER PURSUIT

A Santa Rosa man was Tasered and arrested this morning after he fled a patrol officer who tried to pull him over for using a cell phone while driving, police said. Drew Gonsalves, 19, sped away from the officer who tried to stop him on eastbound state Highway 12 at Mission Boulevard around 1:30 a.m., Sgt. Lisa Banayat said.Gonsalves lost control of his 2002 Nissan Xterra and struck a power pole when he tried to make a U-turn onto northbound Cardinal Way, Banayat said.Gonsalves ran from his vehicle but was caught by responding officers. He was shot once with a Taser stun gun when he refused to comply with police orders, Banayat said.The Nissan and the power pole sustained major damage and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. officials responded to repair the pole, Banayat said. Gonsalves complained of pain and received medical treatment before he was booked into the Sonoma County Jail for driving under the influence, evading an officer, resisting arrest and a probation violation.

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Jan 30, 2009 SALINAS: REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER ARRESTED AFTER REMOVING MONITORING DEVICE

Salinas police have arrested a 63-year-old registered sex offender who cut off his tracking device earlier this week. Edward Lee Harvey, a homeless registered sex offender required to wear a GPS tracking device, allegedly cut off the device and left it at a home in the 100 block of Russell Road, police said.Officers noticed on Monday that Harvey had been at the home for a long time and when they arrived the check on him they found the device without him. Investigators were then put on the lookout for Harvey, who was found Thursday around 11 a.m. in the Harden Ranch Shopping Center. Harvey was arrested and booked into Monterey County Jail on suspicion of a parole violation and vandalism for cutting the tracking
device.

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Jan 30, 2009 SANTA CLARA CO.: FORMER INTERNET COMPANY EMPLOYEE FACES UP TO THREE YEARS IMPRISONMENT

A 48-year-old man faces up to three years in state prison when he is sentenced in June for embezzling more than $130,000 from a Cupertino Internet security company, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.Russell Morita pleaded no contest last week to felony grand theft for the alleged personal purchases he made with a company credit card between May 2004 and August 2007, the district attorney’s office reported.Morita worked at Trend Micro and used the company card to buy televisions, laptops, video games and furniture for himself. He also paid double the amount due on the company card using company money and then had the credit card company refund the overpaid amount to him for personal use.The embezzlement scheme was discovered by an accounting employee who noticed a $25,000 company card payment made by Morita, the district attorney’s office reported. Morita had apparently broken company policy when he signed and approved the payment himself.Morita is scheduled for sentencing June 4 at 9 a.m. in Department 80 of Santa Clara County Superior Court, 605 W. El Camino Real in Sunnyvale.

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Jan 30, 2009 MORGAN HILL: MAN STABBED, SECURITY GUARD ASSAULTED IN BAR PARKING LOT

Morgan Hill police are still searching for a group of men who allegedly stabbed a man and assaulted a security guard outside a bar early Saturday morning.The incident was reported at about 1:40 a.m. in the parking lot outside Strixe Bar at 650 Tennant Station, according to police.Arriving officers found that a 30-year-old San Jose man had been stabbed while he was sitting in his vehicle and attempting to leave the area, police said.The suspects then fled the scene in a light-colored BMW or Mercedes vehicle, according to police.A second victim, later identified as a security guard working at the bar, was struck by the suspect vehicle as it fled the area, police said.The security guard sustained minor injuries in the assault. The first victim was taken to a local hospital with a puncture wound to his upper chest and was later released, according to police.The suspects allegedly were yelling gang slogans at the victims during the incident, police said.Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact Morgan Hill police Detective Beilmann at (408) 779-2101.

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Jan 30, 2009 SF: COURT UPHOLDS MARIN MAN’S MOLESTATION CONVICTION AND 200-YEAR SENTENCE

A state appeals court in San Francisco today upheld a Marin County man’s conviction and 200-year sentence for molesting four girls while they were at his house for sleepovers with his young daughter.Robert Girard, 66, of Terra Linda, was convicted in Marin County Superior Court in 2007 of three counts of lewd behavior with children under the age of 14 and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a fourth child.The molestation took place at Girard’s home in 2005 and 2006 and the victims were 6- to 8-year-old school playmates of his daughter. Because he had a previous conviction, Girard was sentenced to four
consecutive 50-year prison terms under the state’s three-strikes law.  The previous conviction in 1980 was for performing a lewd act and having unlawful sexual intercourse with a then-9-year-old Marin County girl.In today’s ruling, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal unanimously rejected Girard’s claim that the 200-year sentence was unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.Justice Barbara Jones wrote for the court that the offenses were “extremely serious” and said the penalty will protect the community from future predatory conduct.Jones wrote, “Appellant’s pernicious conduct against some of the most vulnerable members of our society fully supports the lengthy sentence that was imposed.”The court also turned down Girard’s argument that the victim in the 1980 case, who is now an adult, should not have been allowed to testify at the trial.  The panel said the previous victim’s testimony was highly relevant to prosecutors’ bid to disprove Girard’s claim that he had no sexual intent during what Girard said were massages of two of the girls. Girard’s attorney in the appeal, Frank McCabe, said he had not seen the ruling and could not comment on it, but said a further appeal to the state Supreme Court is likely.

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