Two suspects were arraigned today on murder charges for the shooting death of Samuel Nava III, a popular 17-year-old Hayward High School student, two years ago. Robert Joseph Yim, 21, and Veronica Rodriguez, 20, both of Hayward, appeared briefly in Alameda County Superior Court and are scheduled to return to court on May 9 to be assigned attorneys and possibly enter pleas.
Yim and Rodriguez are suspected of firing at a car in which Nava, who played on his high school baseball team, was a backseat passenger on May 3, 2010, striking and killing him. Hayward police said Nava was traveling with friends that evening. The driver was making a U-turn at the corner of Mission Boulevard and Industrial Parkway when a shooter standing on the center median opened fire, police said. Police found Nava about a mile south of that location, and he was rushed to Eden Medical Center where he died.
Shortly after the shooting, police said they were investigating the possibility that the driver of the car in which Nava was a passenger had exchanged disparaging remarks with the shooter. Nava’s friends told police that they had encountered the shooter in a park shortly before the incident. Police said they identified Yim and Rodriguez as suspects by examining forensic evidence and reviewing witness accounts and arrested them as they were leaving a home in Newark shortly before 7 p.m. on Friday.
In addition to the murder charge for Nava’s death, Yim and Rodriguez are each charged with three counts of willful, deliberate premeditated attempted murder for allegedly shooting at the people who were with Nava. Yim and Rodriguez are being held at the county jail without bail.
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