Alameda County District Attorney's Office
Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

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People v Rafael Tovar

On November 3, 2014, a jury convicted Rafael Tovar, 29, of the first degree murder of Justice Afoa, 18, as well as conspiracy to commit murder and found true the allegation that the crime was committed in furtherance of gang activity.

Throughout 2010, there were several altercations between gang members who attended Newark Memorial High School, and members of the football team. Mr Afoa attended Newark Memorial High School and was star player on the football team, and defendant Tovar was a high ranking gang member from Fremont.

In September 2010, defendant Tovar’s sister invited Justice Afoa and his friend Anthony to a party at her family home. Anthony had previously dated the sister, but the relationship ended poorly and defendant was angry at Anthony. As soon as the defendant saw Anthony, he began a fight with him. The fight involved several of the party-goers, and resulted in Tovar's beating. Defendant Tovar and his fellow gang members planned to avenge the fight with murder.

For the next few months, defendant Tovar conspired to murder the victim. On December 15, 2010, Rafael Tovar and fellow gang member Danny Howard stabbed the victim multiple times, killing him. Howard was earlier convicted of Justice Afoa’s murder, conspiracy to commit Afoa’s murder, and several other crimes.

On April 27, 2015, defendant Tovar was sentenced to 29 years to Life in state prison.

The case was prosecuted by DDA Elgin Lowe.

Posted on Nov 3, 2014