General Crime

* John Parquet Killed Oakland Prostitute Lowanda Jackson 16 Years Ago

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A prosecutor said today that Oakland resident Lowanda Jackson was a prostitute and a drug addict but that doesn’t mean she deserved to be raped and killed nearly 16 years ago.In her closing argument in the trial of John Parquet, 49, Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Joni Leventis said Jackson’s encounter with Parquet behind an abandoned house at 1339 84th Ave. in East Oakland in the early morning hours of Jan. 7, 1994, may have started out as “a consensual transaction” but “something went horribly wrong” and Jackson was choked to death.Leventis said Jackson, who was 46, apparently agreed to perform oral sex on Parquet, which is something she could do in a quick and “efficient” manner without getting undressed that cold winter morning but the fact that she was strangled and her clothes were strewn all over indicates that she was raped.Referring to Parquet, Leventis said, “This defendant isn’t about consent. This defendant is about taking what he wants because he’s a sexual predator.”During Parquet’s trial, Leventis put on the witness stand Pamela Mason, who testified that he stabbed her while he sexually assaulted her in Oakland on April 24, 1984.Parquet pleaded guilty to assault and rape for the incident but was released from state prison in 1992 after only serving a little more than half of his 14-year sentence.Leventis also introduced evidence that Parquet assaulted and attempted to rape a third woman in Oakland on Sept. 28, 1994, eight months after Jackson was killed.DNA evidence finally connected Parquet to Jackson’s death in 2004 and in 2005 he was charged with murdering her and with the special circumstance of committing a murder during the course of a rape.Leventis said Parquet “is the poster child” for an evidence code section that allows evidence of past crimes to be introduced in later trials to show that a defendant has a propensity to commit violent sexual assaults.If he’s convicted,Parquet could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.Parquet’s lawyer Alameda County Assistant Public Defender Byron Brown admitted that DNA evidence indicates that Parquet and Jackson had sex.But Brown said he doesn’t think Leventis proved that Parquet raped Jackson because there are no physical signs of a sexual assault, such as vaginal tearing. Brown also said he doesn’t think the prosecution proved that Parquet intended to kill Jackson, saying there are “a lot of unanswered questions” and “inconsistencies” in the case.Leventis said that in interviews with Oakland police in 2005, after DNA evidence connected him to Jackson, Parquet admitted that he killed her and said he did so because she kneed him in his groin.”It was not OK to squeeze the life out of another human being,”Leventis said.

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