Testimony concluded today in a preliminary hearing in a conspiracy to murder case connected to the fatal shooting of 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine in East Oakland last July.
Attorneys in the case, which involves four men who are accused of planning to murder two people in Oakland last September, will present brief closing arguments on Tuesday and then Alameda County Superior Court Judge Vernon Nakahara will rule on whether prosecutors produced enough evidence to have the suspects ordered to stand trial.
The figure who connects the fatal shooting of Alaysha, which occurred in the 3400 block of Wilson Street at about 11:15 p.m. on July 17, and the alleged plot to murder two men in September is 27-year-old Joseph Carroll of Oakland.
Carroll was charged with murder for allegedly planning the shooting that claimed Alaysha’s life, but a judge dismissed that charge at the end of a preliminary hearing in that case in January.
However, the man alleged to have shot and killed Alaysha, 22-year-old Darnell Williams, was ordered to stand trial and is awaiting prosecution in that case.
Oakland police allege in probable cause statements that Alaysha’s death was an outgrowth of Carroll’s rage that his cousin, 26-year-old Jermaine Davis, was fatally shot in the 1800 block of Derby Street in Berkeley at about 6:52 p.m. on July 17. Davis’s death occurred a little more than three hours before Alaysha was killed.
Antoine York, 25, was ultimately charged with murdering Davis and police say that York was the target at the shooting that claimed Alaysha’s life. Carroll and his colleagues believed York was at the Wilson Street location where it occurred, police said.
Oakland police said that in conducting phone wiretaps to try to establish evidence against the suspects in the shooting that killed Alaysha, they discovered evidence that Carroll and three colleagues were planning to murder two men they believed had “disrespected” Carroll and his brother, Coleon Carroll, in rap videos.
Oakland police Officer Eric Karsseboom testified at the hearing that attempts to kill the two alleged potential victims occurred on Sept. 13 and Sept. 20.
However, Karsseboom said in a probable cause statement that Oakland police officers and special agents from the California Department of Justice set up surveillance teams at the locations where the shootings allegedly were supposed to occur and were able to prevent harm to the potential victims.
Oakland police allege that the first attempt to kill the two potential victims occurred on Iris Street in East Oakland on the afternoon of September 10, but the alleged conspirators called it off because a large number of police officers were present.
Police allege that the second attempt occurred at the Café RandeVu nightclub at 2430 Broadway on the night of September 21 because the alleged conspirators had information that the potential victims would be there.
However, Albert Garland, 49, testified today that he hosted a party at the club that night and he didn’t see the alleged victims there even though he knows the two men and he stood at the door and kept a close eye on everyone who entered the club.
Asked by prosecutor Luis Marin how certain he was that the potential victims weren’t there, Garland, who has known several of the defendants for many years, said, “I’m 100 percent sure.”
Coleon Carroll, 24, and another man were ordered at a preliminary hearing last year to stand trial on murder and attempted murder charges for a shooting near a Berkeley barbershop at 8:45 a.m. Oct. 26, 2010, that left 35-year-old Gary Ferguson of Oakland dead and a second man seriously injured.
The three other men charged with conspiracy to commit murder are Joseph Corkey Connors, 28, Emando Roos, 36, and Travon Wilson, 29.
Prosecutors allege that Joseph Carroll, who was arrested in Harris County in Texas last September, has two prior convictions: one for possession of a firearm by a felon on Jan. 14, 2013, and one for evading an officer on Sept. 24, 2007.
Prosecutors also allege that Connors, Roos and Wilson also have prior felony convictions.
Defense attorneys for Carroll, Connors, Roos and Wilson claim that the prosecution’s case against the four men is weak and that the alleged murder plot was merely tough talk, not a firm plan to kill the alleged victims.
The four defendants have been supported by a large group of family members and friends at all of the hearings in the case, which have been closely guarded by at least four bailiffs at all times.
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