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A 48-year-old man was ordered today to stand trial on charges that he murdered and sexually assaulted two women in Oakland 20 years ago. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Gloria Rhynes issued her ruling against Patrick Wayne Willis at the end of a preliminary hearing that spanned parts of three days.
Willis is accused of murdering one of the women on Jan. 29, 1992, and the other woman about two weeks later on Feb. 11, 1992. Alameda County District Attorney spokeswoman Teresa Drenick refused to disclose the names of the two victims.
In the criminal complaint against Willis they are identified only as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2. The case remained unsolved for more than 19 years until DNA evidence led authorities to arrest and charge Willis in October 2011. In addition to two counts of murder, Willis faces four special circumstances allegations that could lead to the death penalty if he’s convicted: two allegations each of committing murder during the course of forcible oral copulation and of committing multiple murders. Willis also is charged with rape by instrument for the incident involving Jane Doe 1 and using a deadly weapon, a knife, for the incident involving Jane Doe 2.
Dr. Thomas Rogers, a pathologist for the Alameda County coroner’s bureau, testified today that Jane Doe 2 died from multiple stab wounds and the knife that was used to kill her appears to have been about three and one quarter inches long. He said Jane Doe 2 suffered wounds to her face, heart area, chest, lung and arms. Rogers also testified that a noose was wrapped around the head of Jane Doe 1 and she suffered blunt injuries to her head.
Because Willis potentially faces the death penalty, he is entitled to two attorneys and is being represented by two veteran Oakland defense lawyers: Thomas Broome and Ted Johnson. Willis, who is being held without bail, will return to court in the near future to have a trial date set.
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