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

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People v Christian Burton

On October 31, 2018, a jury found defendant Christian Burton guilty of first degree murder with special circumstance for the death of off duty paramedic Quinn Boyer.

On April 2, 2013, at around 10 am, the 16-year old defendant and five of his juvenile friends ranging from the ages of 13 to 15 walked together to the Island Market located on the corner of High Street and Congress Street in the city of Oakland. The six juveniles watched as an elderly victim purchased food and walked to his car. Four of the juveniles carjacked the man and escaped in his 2001 Dodge Intrepid. All six assailants packed into the vehicle and drove around Oakland looking for other victims to rob.

A little before noon, Quinn Boyer had just dropped off his father at his home in the Oakland Hills. Mr. Boyer was a mentor and big brother to disadvantaged young men. He had just cancelled an outing that he had planned with one of the young men he mentored and pulled over to the side of the road just past the intersection of Keller Avenue and Hansom Street in the Oakland Hills to use his phone.

The six juveniles noticed Mr. Boyer parked on the other side of the road and decided to rob him. The driver pulled the stolen Dodge in front of Mr. Boyer’s Honda Civic. The defendant and another juvenile wearing a tan jacket and white baseball cap approached Mr. Boyer. Either the defendant or the juvenile with the tan jacket was armed with a .22 caliber handgun. Mr. Boyer noticed the approaching assailants and tried to escape. The defendant fired one shot through the driver’s side window striking Mr. Boyer in the head. Mr. Boyer loss control of the car, hit a tree in the median, and careened down a steep embankment. Mr.Quinn died from his injuries a few days later.

A single witness called 911. The defendant and his friends escaped and drove to Southland Mall in Hayward. The young men could be seen on video shopping 30 minutes after the fatal shot was fired. Four of the young men went on an additional carjacking and robbery spree, though Mr. Burton was not a part of the suspect in the subsequent crimes.

All six juveniles were eventually arrested. Three of the six young men were adjudicated in juvenile court. The juvenile in the tan jacket and white hat was adjudicated as an adult and received 15-years in prison. The fifth juvenile was convicted on first degree murder, robbery, carjacking by a jury in 2015.

The case was heard in front of the honorable Judge Kevin Murphy. The defense attorney for Mr. Burton was Ernie Castillo.

The case was prosecuted by DDA Jimmie Wilson and DA inspector James Morris. The excellent investigation was completed by Oakland Police Officers Lt. Randy Brandwood, Sgt. Cesar Basa (now an inspector with the Alameda County DA’s Officer), and Officer Phong Tran.

The defendant will be sentenced on January 25, 2019.

Posted on Nov 1, 2018