General Crime

* Christian Speaker will be arraigned for Watsonville murder of Yahya Saleh Ali Ahmed at Fiesta Latino Market

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A teen accused of fatally shooting a store clerk when robbing a Watsonville business earlier this month will be arraigned in Santa Cruz County Superior Court on Friday.Prosecutors are charging Christian Speaker, 17, as an adult in connection with the Oct. 19 fatal shooting of 32-year-old Watsonville resident and Fiesta Latino Market clerk Yahya Saleh Ali Ahmed.Detectives believe Speaker first engaged Ahmed in conversation and then left the business. He returned with a handgun, pointed it at Ahmed, and demanded money. After Ahmed handed him cash from the register, Speaker allegedly shot him point-blank in the chest, police said.Ahmed was pronounced dead at the scene.The robbery and shooting was captured on the store’s surveillance camera and distributed to law enforcement agencies across the state.Detectives said that the day before the murder, Speaker was allegedly captured on video at the 98 Cent Store in Freedom, where a suspect stole items and pushed an elderly clerk to the ground when he tried to stop the robber.A day after the murder, police in Willets stopped a car with a Watsonville teen who detectives believe fled with Speaker from a court-appointed group home in Tulare County on Oct. 16. Police arrested the teen for an outstanding warrant.Watsonville Police Department detectives tracked Speaker to a home in Eureka and arrested him with the help of the Eureka Police Department, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and Humboldt County Drug Task Force.Police said Speaker was a ward of the court and has a history of robberies and weapons possessions. He is from Humboldt County and previously lived in Eureka.Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputies took custody of Speaker Wednesday and transported him from Eureka to Santa Cruz. He was booked into juvenile hall at about 9 p.m., according to sheriff’s Sgt. Dan Campos.

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