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

Meet DA Nancy E. O'Malley

People v Christian Birdsall-Hernandez

On July 14, 2015, a jury convicted Christian Birdsall (aka Christian Birdsall-Hernandez) of the first degree murder of 58-year-old Barbara Latiolais and found true special circumstances that Birdsall committed the murder while lying in wait, committing burglary, and committing robbery. The jury additionally convicted Birdsall of arson.

On October 17, 2012, Birdsall waited outside the victim’s Castro Valley home for nearly 7 hours before crawling underneath the home and devising a plan to choke the victim to death by surprise. Birdsall knew the victim would be home alone as he had performed house-work for the victim which is how he was familiar with the home and the valuables inside.

Birdsall entered the home and manually strangled the victim until she lost consciousness. While burglarizing her home, Birdsall noticed the victim was still alive, and used a climbing rope to strangle her to death via ligature. Birdsall returned to the house later that evening, poured gasoline on the victim’s body, and set both it and the house on fire in an attempt to destroy evidence.

At trial, a jury rejected evidence from a forensic psychiatrist that Birdsall mentally ‘dissociated’ during the murder and did not have the requisite intent to commit the crimes.

On September 18, 2015, a judge sentenced defendant Christian Birdsall-Hernandez to life without the possibility of parole. The case was prosecuted by DDA Adam Maldonado with assistance from DA Inspectors Tim Bergquist and Timothy Cleary, and Victim-Witness Advocates Marina Hammergren and Hedy Mitlo.

Posted on Jul 14, 2015