General Crime

No Felony Charges for Chaka Grayson Shot by Marin Sheriff’s Deputy, No Charges For Deputy Evan Kubota

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Chaka Grayson, the 44-year-old Marin City man who was shot twice by a Marin County sheriff’s deputy in the arm after he allegedly accelerated his car toward the deputy, will not be charged with assault with a deadly weapon, Marin County District Attorney Ed Berberian announced late this afternoon. And the deputy, Evan Kubota, did not commit a criminal violation of law in discharging his firearm, Berberian said. Berberian said Grayson will be charged with four misdemeanor offenses.

They include failing or refusing to comply with a lawful order of a peace officer; resisting, delaying or obstructing a peace officer; driving with a suspended or revoked license after a drunk driving conviction in October 2009; and driving with a suspended or revoked license for refusing a chemical test or driving with excessive blood alcohol with a prior conviction in October 2009. Grayson will be ordered to appear in court on Jan. 6 for arraignment on the misdemeanor charges, Berberian said. Jonathan Matthews, an attorney who has spoken on behalf of Grayson’s supporters, said he has mixed feelings about Berberian’s decision.

“In one sense, I suppose it’s a relief because there was an attempted murder charge (against Grayson) being thrown around,” Matthews said. “On the other hand, if the deputy is not facing any disciplinary action, that is disappointing,” Matthews said. Berberian said the filing decision was reached after his office reviewed final investigative reports from the Novato Police Department which investigated the July 7 incident involving Grayson and Kubota. “Both the conduct and actions of Deputy Sheriff Kubota and suspect Grayson were reviewed to determine if criminal violations of law occurred,” Berberian said. Grayson is not being charged with assault with a deadly weapon because there is insufficient evidence to prove that allegation beyond a reasonable doubt, Berberian said.

According to sheriff’s Lt. Jamie Scardina, Kubota was on patrol when he saw Grayson’s gold Buick approach him and pull immediately to the side of the road on Terners Drive in Marin City. The deputy recognized Grayson from prior contacts and knew he had a suspended driver’s license, Scardina said. Kubota made a U-turn and parked his patrol car behind Grayson’s vehicle, Scardina said. Kubota got out of his patrol car and as he walked toward Grayson’s car, he saw Grayson duck down. Kubota drew his gun and ordered Grayson to show his hands, but when Grayson accelerated his car toward the deputy, Kubota fired several rounds at him and he was struck twice in the arm, Scardina said.

Kubota was then hit in the head when bystanders threw rocks at him, Scardina said. Grayson drove away from the scene but surrendered to the sheriff’s office at a nearby residence, and he was taken to Marin General Hospital for treatment of his injuries. Grayson then was held in the Marin County jail on a drug-related parole hold pending the filing of charges, but the parole hold was lifted at the request of the Marin County District Attorney’s Office and he was released. News that the Novato Police Department would investigate the shooting angered Grayson’s supporters and Marin City residents because Kubota’s wife works part-time as a Novato police dispatcher.

Grayson’s supporters called for an independent investigation. Berberian said Kubota’s wife does work part-time as a Novato police dispatcher, but he said, “Novato police are professionals and will do their job.” Marin County Sheriff Robert T. Doyle, Marin County Supervisor Kathrin Sears and members of the Marin City Community Services District board attended a community meeting in August at the Marguerita C. Johnson Senior Center in Marin City to discuss ways to improve relations between law enforcement and Marin City residents.

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