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Two burglary suspects have been charged with murder for a car crash in Newark last week that killed an innocent driver as well as a third suspect in the case. Jabrie Watts, 20, who has addresses in Oakland and Hayward, and Deshon Collier, 20, who has lived in San Leandro, Union City and Hayward, were arraigned in Alameda County Superior Court on Thursday on murder, burglary and possession of stolen property charges in connection with the Jan. 18 burglary and crash.
Watts and Collier, who are both being held without bail, returned to court this morning to finalize their legal representation but did not enter pleas, a court clerk said. The plea entry hearing was continued to Feb. 24, the clerk said. Union City police say the incident began shortly before 10 a.m. on Jan. 18 when they responded to a report of a home burglary on Mistflower Avenue.
A witness reported seeing three people kick down his neighbor’s door and enter the home, police said. The witness gave police a description of the intruders and their car, a Chevrolet Impala, and police spotted the car driving away from the neighborhood. Officers tried to pull it over, but the driver accelerated south on Cedar Boulevard at speeds of nearly 80 mph, according to police. Police said they discontinued the chase because it was too dangerous.
The driver continued speeding away, then crashed into a Honda at Cherry Street and Mowry Avenue. The driver of the Honda, Robert Louis Cheney, 69, of Pleasanton, was pronounced dead at the scene.The suspects’car overturned and Watts and Collier ran away but were soon apprehended. Watts and Collier abandoned the third suspect, 20-year-old Rajwaun Watkins, an Oakland resident who was trapped underneath the Impala unconscious with a severe head injury, according to a report filed in court by Newark police Detective David Higbee.
Watkins was transported to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley and died from his injuries on Jan. 20.Higbee said the Impala that the suspects used was rented by Collier’s mother.The suspects stole jewelry and a watch in the burglary at the home on Mistflower Avenue, Higbee said.The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office alleges that Watts has prior convictions for attempted second-degree robbery and second-degree commercial burglary, while Collier has a prior conviction for assault with a deadly weapon.The prior convictions could increase the prison sentences for Watts and Collier if they are convicted of the current charges.Police say Watkins also had a prior criminal record.
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