General Crime

Frank Austin Convicted of Murdering Ex-Girlfriend Vernita Jones in Oakland

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A man was convicted today of what prosecutors called a “relentless” knife attack for the 2011 stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend in Oakland, an Alameda County District Attorney’s Office spokesman said. A jury convicted Frank Austin, 52, of first-degree murder for the death of his girlfriend, Vernita Jones, 50, in their home at the Avondale residential hotel at 540 28th St. the night of July 5, 2011, district attorney’s spokesman Eamon O’Connor said.

Deputy District Attorney Barbara Foo argued during Austin’s trial that he had attacked Jones and then left her dead or dying while he attempted to cover up his culpability. Austin, who worked for a shipping company at the Port of Oakland, called his supervisor the next day to say that “something serious went down” and that he would need a leave of absence of at least 30 days, Foo said.

But then he waited another 10 hours before calling police to report that he couldn’t wake up Jones, Foo said. Police said last year that Austin called them at about 10 a.m. on July 6 but that it was clear that Jones had been dead for some time after being stabbed multiple times.

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