Fugitives General Crime Violent Crime

* ALERT “ARRESTED” Be On The Lookout For Murder Suspect Nathaniel Burris Who Allegedly Killed Richmond Toll Collector Deborah Ross

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Aug 20, 2009 Update MARTINEZ: ALLEGED TOLL PLAZA SHOOTER DELAYS ENTERING PLEA
Nathaniel Burris said last week that he was guilty of fatally shooting two people at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza on Aug. 11 and wanted to be executed for his crimes, but in court today he agreed to be represented by an attorney and to delay entering a plea, Assistant District Attorney Paul Sequeira said.Burris, a 46-year-old Richmond resident, has been charged with two counts of murder in connection with the deaths of his former girlfriend, 51-year-old Deborah Ross, and 58-year-old San Leandro resident Ersie “Chuck” Everette, a Golden Gate Transit bus driver who knew Ross.He has also been charged with enhancements for allegedly using a shotgun to commit both murders and the special circumstances allegations that he committed multiple murders and committed them by lying in wait, charges that make him eligible for the death penalty.”I’m pleading guilty. I did it. I did it by lying in wait,” Burris said during his first appearance in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez on Friday. “They can kill me. I don’t need 20 or 30 years. Why’s it have to take so long? Let’s just do it now.” He said at that hearing he did not want an attorney, but instead intended to plead guilty and represent himself during a penalty trial.According to Sequeira, who will be trying the case, Burris has now agreed to be represented by an attorney and is scheduled to return to court Sept. 18 to enter a plea.Burris’ attorney, Acting Public Defender Robin Lipetzky, did not wish to comment on the case today. The shootings happened during the evening commute at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza on Interstate Highway 580.Ross, who had worked for Caltrans as a toll collector for the past eight years, had arrived at work that day in Everette’s pickup truck. While the truck was parked in the toll plaza parking lot, Burris allegedly slashed its tires and then watched the vehicle through binoculars until Everette, a Golden Gate Transit bus driver, arrived and got in.At about 5:55 p.m. Burris allegedly approached the vehicle and shot Everette multiple times in the head and chest with a shotgun. The gunman then ran across lanes of traffic over to toll booth No. 3 where Ross was working and began firing on her, California Highway Patrol Officer Sam Morgan said.Burris then fled the area and was arrested early the next morning in Placer County. Deputy District Attorney Harold Jewett said last week that Burris appears to have been angered by a potential breakup between him and Ross and felt that he had been disrespected by the way it was being handled.Although the nature of the relationship between Ross and Everette was still unclear, Jewett said that it appears that she had been seeking emotional support from him during her breakup.Several of Ross’ family members were angered when they showed up for the hearing in Martinez this afternoon only to find that it had been moved from 1:30 p.m. to 11 a.m. and had already happened.Ross’ sister described Ross as “the kindest, sweetest, most giving person” she knew. When people didn’t have enough money to pay their toll, Ross would sometimes let them through anyway, she said.She said she believed that Burris planned the attack and made sure that her sister wouldn’t survive. She also said she hoped the district attorney’s office would seek the death penalty against him.
Sequeira said his office had notified Burris’ attorney of the possibility that they could seek the death penalty, but said a decision hadn’t been made yet.

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Aug 14, 2009 UPDATE SUSPECT IN TOLL PLAZA SHOOTINGS TRIES TO PLEAD GUILTY

A Richmond man accused of shooting a Caltrans toll collector and a Golden Gate Transit bus driver at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza Tuesday said in court today that he was guilty of both murders and didn’t care if he was given the death penalty for his crimes. Nathaniel Burris, 46, has been charged with two counts of murder in connection with the deaths of his ex-girlfriend, 51-year-old Deborah Ross, and 58-year-old San Leandro resident Ersie “Chuck” Everette.He has also been charged with enhancements for allegedly using a shotgun to commit both murders and the special circumstances allegations that he committed multiple murders and committed them by lying in wait, charges that make him eligible for the death penalty. “I’m pleading guilty. I did it. I did it by lying in wait. I don’t need all this. I want to go back to my cell,” Burris said as he stood inside a holding cell in the Martinez courtroom flanked by three sheriff’s deputies. When Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Leslie Landau ordered him to stop talking and said he needed to speak with an attorney before making statements in court, Burris told her that he had already talked to a lawyer and told the lawyer that he wanted to plead guilty and represent himself.”I’m guilty. I did it,” Burris said again.”All I need now is the penalty phase,” Burris said. “They can kill me. I don’t need 20 or 30 years. Why’s it have to take so long? Let’s just do it now.”The judge ordered Burris to stop talking. Then she explained to him that the arraignment needed to be done according to procedure to preserve his constitutional rights.The shootings happened during the evening commute at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza on Interstate Highway 580.Ross had arrived at work that day in Everette’s pickup truck. While the truck was parked in the toll plaza parking lot, Burris allegedly slashed its tires and then watched the vehicle through binoculars until Everette arrived and got in.At about 5:55 p.m. Burris allegedly approached the vehicle and shot Everette multiple times in the head and chest with a shotgun. The gunman then walked across lanes of traffic over to toll booth No. 3 where Ross was working and began firing on her, California Highway Patrol Officer Sam Morgan said.Ross, who had worked for Caltrans for eight years, died from multiple shotgun wounds to her torso and right upper extremities, a deputy coroner said.Burris then fled the area in a Western Eagle Transit van, police said.The CHP issued a statewide alert and, at about 3 a.m. Wednesday, CHP officers spotted the van on Interstate Highway 80 in Placer County in the Sierra foothills, Morgan said. Burris did not resist arrest and was taken into custody without incident, Morgan said.Richmond police said that Ross and Burris had lived together in the 400 block of Second Street in Richmond.Deputy District Attorney Harold Jewett said that Burris appears to have been angered by a potential breakup between him and Ross and felt that he had been disrespected by the way it was being handled.Although the nature of the relationship between Ross and Everette was still unclear, Jewett said that it appears that she had been seeking emotional support from him during her breakup. “He doesn’t seem to have any regret at all about what he’s done,” Jewett told reporters outside the courthouse today.He said that although Burris said he was guilty, the court did not officially accept Burris’ statements today as a plea. And even if Burris officially pleads guilty and asks to be executed, there would still have to be a trial in which a jury would decide whether the death penalty was appropriate in this case.Jewett also said that Burris has a constitutional right to defend himself, but they would have to wait and see what Burris’ attitude was next week once a little more time had passed. Deputy Public Defender Laurie Mont, who consulted with Burris during the arraignment, said she couldn’t comment on the case.Burris is scheduled to return to court in Martinez on Thursday to enter a plea. The court may also hold a hearing on Burris’ request to represent himself.

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Aug 12, 2009 RICHMOND: UPDATE: TOLL PLAZA SHOOTING VICTIMS IDENTIFIED, SUSPECT ARRESTED

Golden Gate Transit bus driver Ersie “Chuck” Everett, a 58-year-old San Leandro man, has been identified as the second victim of a fatal shooting at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza Tuesday evening.Everett was killed along with 51-year-old Richmond resident Deborah Ross shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday, allegedly by Ross’ boyfriend, 46-year-old Nathaniel Burris.Ross was working at the bridge as a toll collector when the shooting happened. She had worked for Caltrans for eight years. Burris allegedly shot Everett as he sat in a car in the toll plaza parking lot, police said. After the shooting, Burris fled in a white Ford van bearing the words “Western Eagle Shuttle,” prompting a statewide search and airport alert.Western Eagle Shuttle is a San Rafael-based airport transportation company, according to its Web site, and French said it’s likely Burris worked there.A California Highway Patrol officer arrested Burris on Interstate Highway 80 near the Sierra mountain community of Baxter in Placer County just after 3 a.m. today, French said.He and Ross had been in a dating relationship and lived together in the 400 block of Second Street in Richmond, according to French.Police did not know whether the couple had a history of domestic violence. French confirmed today that police had been called to their home Sunday, but said she didn’t know what the call was for.Investigators have not confirmed the nature of the relationship between Ross and Everett but believe they knew each other, French said.She said police would likely bring Burris back to Contra Costa County on Friday. Investigators have until Friday to take the case to the district attorney’s office, she said.Autopsies were being conducted on Ross and Everett’s bodies this morning, a Contra Costa County deputy coroner said.Flags at the state Capitol in Sacramento are being flown at half-staff today in Ross’s honor, according to Schwarzenegger’s office.Golden Gate Transit was holding a news conference late this morning to remember Everett, who was first hired by the agency in 1990, according to Mary Currie, spokeswoman for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.

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Aug 12, 2009 TRUCKEE CHP UNITS CONFIRM ARREST OF TOLL PLAZA SHOOTER IN SIERRAS

A man believed responsible for the shooting deaths of two people at a Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza Tuesday evening has been arrested in Placer County by the California Highway Patrol early this morning, a Richmond police sergeant said.A CHP unit operating out of Truckee reported apprehending 46-year-old Nathaniel Burris just after 3 a.m. on Interstate Highway 80 near the Sierra mountain community of Baxter, Richmond police Sgt. Bisa French said.Burris provoked a statewide search and airport alert after he was believed to have fled the scene of a shooting which took the life of a 51-year-old female toll collector and a man in his 40s in a vehicle in a toll plaza parking lot at around 6 p.m.Burris’ arrest by CHP in Placer County was confirmed this morning, French said, though details regarding the circumstances of his capture were not immediately available.

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Aug 11, 2009 UPDATE: SCHWARZENEGGER ISSUES STATEMENT ON DEATH OF BRIDGE WORKER

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tonight issued a statement regarding the death of a toll collector who was one of two people killed on the toll plaza of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in a shooting that appears to have stemmed from a domestic dispute.”Maria and I join all Californians in expressing our shock and sadness over the death of Deborah Ross,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement. “Deborah was a devoted and hard-working public servant and we are grateful for her dedicated service to our state.”The incident happened shortly before 6 p.m. when a man shot and killed Ross, 51, who was inside a booth and a man in his 40s who was in a car in the parking lot of the toll plaza. Police have identified the suspect as 46-year-old Nathaniel Burris, who was in a “dating relationship” and lived with Ross, Richmond police Sgt. Bisa French said.Burris allegedly fled in a white 2005 Ford van with the words “Western Eagle Shuttle” in orange lettering and California license plate No. 8U40504. Western Eagle Shuttle is a San Rafael-based airport transportation company, according to its Web site, and French said it’s likely Burris worked for the company.”There’s an extensive search. We have officers all over the state on the lookout for him and the vehicle,” French said. “We’re doing an all out manhunt.”French said airports statewide have also been alerted of the case.Richmond police went to the home Burris and Ross shared in the 400 block of Second Street in Richmond, but did not locate Burris, French said. Burris is considered armed and dangerous and anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to call 911. Ross had worked for the California Department of Transportation for eight years, according to the governor’s office. Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff in honor of Ross.

Copyright © 2009 by Bay City News, Inc. — Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

A domestic dispute appears to have led to the shooting deaths of a man and a woman at the toll plaza of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge this evening, a Richmond police sergeant said.The shooting happened shortly before 6 p.m. when a man shot and killed a 51-year-old female toll collector who was inside a booth and a man in his 40s who was in a car in the parking lot of the toll plaza. Police have identified the suspect as 46-year-old Nathaniel Burris, who was in a “dating relationship” and lived with the female victim, Richmond police Sgt. Bisa French said.Burris allegedly fled in a white 2005 Ford van with the words”Western Eagle Shuttle” in orange lettering and California license plate No. 8U40504. “There’s an extensive search. We have officers all over the state on the lookout for him and the vehicle,” French said. “We’re doing an all out manhunt.” French said airports statewide have also been alerted of the case. Richmond police went to the home Burris and the female victim shared in the 400 block of Second Street in Richmond, but did not locate Burris, French said.Burris is considered armed and dangerous and anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to call 911.

Copyright © 2009 by Bay City News, Inc. — Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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