General Crime

* Fremont Man Omeed Aziz Popal’s Arraignment Postponed For Allegedly Murdering Of 54-Year-Old Stephen Jay Wilson With His Car.

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A judge postponed the arraignment today of a Fremont man who allegedly murdered a pedestrian with his sport utility vehicle because he doesn’t have a lawyer.Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson referred Omeed Aziz Popal, 32, to the Public Defender’s office to see if it will represent him and ordered him to return to court May 15 to be arraigned.Popal was indicted by an Alameda County grand jury April 17 on murder charges for allegedly striking and killing 54-year-old old Stephen Jay Wilson south of Ferry Lane on Fremont Boulevard in Fremont about 11:50 a.m. on Aug. 29, 2006.Popal also faces a use of a deadly weapon clause for allegedly using his black Honda Pilot SUV to kill Wilson.About 45 minutes after the Fremont incident, Popal went on a 15-minute driving rampage in San Francisco, running down more than a dozen pedestrians on various city streets and sidewalks with his Honda Pilot before being boxed in by police cars in the city’s Laurel Heights neighborhood.The victims’ injuries ranged from minor scrapes to one woman who suffered major injuries and is now a quadriplegic.The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office charged Popal with 16 counts of attempted murder, 16 felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one felony count of battery on a peace officer and one felony count of reckless evasion from police.But on July 31, 2008, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Carol Yaggy ruled that Popal had been legally insane at the time of his San Francisco crimes and found him to be not guilty by reason of insanity.On Aug. 21 Yaggy ordered that Popal be sent to Napa State Hospital for treatment.Yaggy ordered Popal to stay at the Napa facility until his sanity is restored, for a minimum of 180 days and a maximum of 55 years and four months.Popal was transferred from the Napa facility to the Alameda County Jail in Dublin on Thursday.At his brief hearing today, Popal asked Jacobson, “Is there any way possible I can go back to the Napa Hospital.”But Jacobson told him “not today” and said he should discuss the matter with his lawyer once he has someone representing him in his Alameda County case.In his San Francisco case, Popal was represented by San Francisco Deputy Public Defender Sandy Feinland.When Jacobson asked Popal if he had enough money to hire a lawyer, Popal said he has some money but not enough to hire an attorney.

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