Violent Crimes

First District Court of Appeals in Oakland Overturns Murder Conviction

The First District Court of Appeal in Oakland has unanimously determined to reverse the decision of two lower courts to effectively overturn a murder charge against Jamie Thomas in the death of Samuel Navarro.  This higher appeals court decision was made on the basis that jurors in the original trial were not given the option to consider that Thomas had acted in a fit of passion.  Thus, the second-degree-murder charge against him (for which he has already been sentenced 40 years to life) has been overturned. The original incident happened in 2007 in Oakland, on Pearl Street – a traditionally peaceful...

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San Mateo Resident Arrested for Hate Crime (CA Penal Code §422.55, §422.7 & §422.75)

San Mateo police have arrested Santos Manuel Marquez (36) on allegations of attempted murder, aggravated mayhem, assault with a deadly weapon, and commission of a hate crime for having severely beaten a man about the head and face with a heavy-duty U-shaped anti-theft lock because he was disturbed by the man’s sexual orientation.  The incident occurred late at night on the 700 block of residential Santa Inez Avenue.  Seemingly, the victim of the alleged hate crime had eaten at the same local restaurant as Marquez earlier that evening and San Mateo Police Sergeant Dave Norris has stated that he suspects...

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Bay Area Man Acquitted of Breaking & Entering in His Shared Home (CA Penal Code §459)

Everyone can agree that 31-year-old Christopher Hall had a bad couple of weeks.  At first, everything seemed like a Bay area love story.  Hall met a 34-year-old woman at a hacky-sack circle and, two weeks later, the two were making plans to get married.   After a month or so, in March of 2013, Hall decided to break off the engagement, grabbed a few of his things from their shared home, and went off to Mclaren Park with plans to spend the night in a tree.  Later in the evening, Hall became too cold to remain in the tree and headed...

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Hit-And-Run in San Jose Ends with Death of Motorcyclist (CA Penal Code §191.5(b))

The yet unidentified driver of a Lexus attempted to flee the scene at the 1400 block of White Road before being caught by local law enforcement.  The incident also involved a motorcyclist, who was pronounced dead at the scene.  To complicate matters, the driver of the Lexus was charged with not only vehicular manslaughter, but also driving under the influence and hit-and-run.  At first glance, this case may seem cut and dry – most people would assume that if the driver of the Lexus was accused of a DUI, then they must have been at fault.  Yet, it is the consequences...

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