A judge today ordered four men to stand trial on charges that they conspired to murder two other men in Oakland last September in a case connected to the fatal shooting of an 8-year-old girl. Defense lawyers for the four men argued that the prosecution’s case was weak and was based more on speculation than firm evidence but Alameda County Superior Court Judge Vernon Nakahara said there’s enough direct and circumstantial evidence against the men to allow the case to go forward to a jury.
The preliminary hearing for the four men, which occurred on about ten separate days scattered over the past month, is connected to the fatal shooting of 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine in East Oakland last July. The figure who connects Carradine’s death and the alleged plot to murder the two men in September is 27-year-old Joseph Carroll of Oakland.
Oakland police allege in probable cause statements that Alaysha’s shooting death was an outgrowth of Carroll’s rage that his cousin, 26-year-old Jermaine Davis, was fatally shot. Davis was killed in the 1800 block of Derby Street in Berkeley at about 6:52 p.m. on July 17, a little more than three hours before Alaysha was killed in the 3400 block of Wilson Street. 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 who allegedly shot and killed Alaysha, 22-year-old Darnell Williams, was ordered to stand trial and is awaiting prosecution in that case. Antione York, 25, ultimately was charged with murdering Davis. Police say that York was the target at the shooting that claimed Alaysha’s life because Carroll and his colleagues believed York was at the Wilson Street location where it occurred. 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.
According to testimony in the hearing, the two reputed victims were Alfred and Lamar Jackson and Joseph Carroll and the other three defendants knew them from Berkeley, where they had played youth football together. Oakland police Officer Eric Karsseboom testified at the hearing that attempts to kill the two alleged potential victims occurred on Iris Street on Sept. 13 and at the Café RandeVu nightclub at 2430 Broadway on Sept. 20. However, Karsseboom said 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.
In addition to Carroll, the defendants who’ve been ordered to stand trial are Joseph Corkey Connors, 28, Emando Roos, 36, and Travon Wilson, 29. Carroll’s attorney, Ernie Castillo said admitted that Carroll and the other men called Alfred and Lamar Jackson bad names but he said “that’s not the same as agreeing to kill them, Castillo said. Roos’ attorney, Darryl Billups said, there was no agreement to kill anyone, arguing, “You have a bunch of talking and no one doing anything.
” Billups said if there really was a conspiracy to kill Alfred and Lamar Jackson there’s no evidence that police warned the two men. However, prosecutor Luis Marin said Carroll had a motive to kill the alleged victims because he was angry about the videos and argued that Carroll was the “puppet master” behind the conspiracy. Marin said the 38 phone calls and two text messages that were introduced as evidence in the case are strong evidence there was a legitimate conspiracy to kill the two alleged victims. He said, “Their actions and words are very clear.” The four defendants are scheduled to return to court on April 23 to have a trial date set.
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