Lack of Evidence Stalls Two Oakland Juvenile Robbery Cases


Oakland Police Department Unable to Confirm Identities of Assailants 

June 5, 2023 

Nine juveniles detained on May 21, 2023 in connection with a robbery incident have not been charged but the cases are still under investigation. Oakland Police Department acknowledged to the Juvenile Division Charging Deputy that there was not sufficient evidence to identify the suspects to charge any of the juveniles. 

Two women were injured during this incident but did not sustain “great bodily harm.” One juvenile possessed stolen property. Two others were detained for unrelated reasons. The case was reviewed by the Juvenile Division. 

At this time, no allegations exist that firearms were displayed or used during the incident. 

In a separate incident on May 16, 2023, two adults and three juveniles were detained in connection with a robbery. The two minors allegedly involved in these armed robberies were not presented for charging to our juvenile division.  

“Many of the details of these incidents being spread by some individuals have been hyperbolic,” said Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price. “There was not a string of robberies and there were not dozens of suspects involved. OPD decided there wasn’t enough evidence to charge any of the juveniles. We are still trying to confirm the status of the three adults allegedly arrested for these robberies.” 

## Contact: Communications Director Traci Grant, // 628-249-1288 

Alameda County District Attorney Public Accountability Unit Levels Criminal Charges At Three Law Enforcement Officers


They Are Among the First Employees Charged By The New Alameda County Unit

Oakland CA – Three County employees are facing felony criminal charges in three separate cases, ranging from falsification of records to performing sex acts on a minor under 16 years old. The law enforcement officers have been charged by the Alameda County Public Accountability Unit, created by District Attorney Pamela Price in January 2023.  

Nicole Perales, 50, has spent more than two decades as a Juvenile Institutional Officer in the Alameda County Probation Department since 2001. She is accused of unlawfully participating in an act of oral copulation with a minor under the age of 16, whom she met when he was in custody at the Alameda Juvenile Justice Center and while he was under her supervision and care in violation Penal Code Section 287(b)(2). The conduct allegedly took place from August 27, 2004 through August 26, 2005. As an employee who works with children in the criminal justice system, Perales is characterized as an officer in “a position of trust.” She also faces charges of willfully and unlawfully performing a lewd and lascivious act upon the same child, who was 15 years old during that time period in violation of Penal Code Section 288(c)(1). 

If the Public Accountability Unit (PAU) secures a conviction against Perales for these offenses, she could face up to three years and eight months behind bars. Perales also would be required to register as a sex offender throughout the rest of her life.  

Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sheri Baughman, 49, and Deputy Amanda Bracamontes, 30, are charged with committing falsification of records in connection with a suicide at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin in violation of Government Code Section 6200. 

On April 3, 2021, Vinetta Martin hung herself with a bedsheet in her cell. The deputies were supposed to conduct direct visual observation checks every 30 minutes on Ms. Martin. Ms. Martin was a “special management inmate” who told staff she was planning to commit suicide three weeks before her death. Ms. Martin was discovered unconscious and slumped on the floor. She was pronounced dead at Stanford Valley Care Medical Center in Pleasanton.  

Deputy Baughman and Deputy Bracamontes are accused of doctoring the logbooks to make it appear as though they followed the procedure for direct visual observation. Video evidence shows that they repeatedly failed to check on Ms. Martin for extended periods, sometimes as long as one hour and 47 minutes, contrary to their certifications.  

Ms. Martin had been in custody since July 5, 2020, when she was arrested for an alleged assault. On July 24, 2020, the court declared a doubt about whether she was competent to stand trial and suspended the criminal proceedings. At the time of her death almost a year later, she was still in custody at the jail, awaiting evaluation and transfer to the Department of State Hospitals-Napa. Ms. Martin was 32 years old.                                                                                                                                                                                  

District Attorney Pamela Price created the PAU in January. Its mission is to restore public trust by holding law enforcement and public officials accountable for misconduct. The new unit is under the umbrella of the Civil Rights Bureau. It also handles Brady compliance and Racial Justice Act cases. 

## Contact: Communications Director Traci Grant, // 628-249-1288 

Alameda County District Attorney’s Office Seeks Involuntary Manslaughter For Castro Valley Man Who Accidentally Shot His Friend

The Alameda County District Attorney’s office will file an amended complaint  on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 that could allow James Joseph Vega, of Castro Valley, to serve a maximum sentence of four years and eight months for the accidental fatal shooting of Vega’s 28-year-old friend Jarin Purvis. Vega has already spent nearly 2 ½ years in custody in the Santa Rita Jail, without bail. 

In November 2020, Vega was charged with murder with a special circumstance enhancement, which exposed him to a sentence of 50 years to life.  Based on the factual analysis of evidence in this case, the Alameda County District Attorney’s office will file to amend the charges in the fatal shooting. Vega will, now, face involuntary manslaughter, because of the amended complaint, along with a carrying a concealed and loaded firearm charge. Prosecutors met with Purvis’s family to explain the new charges.  

In April 2020, Vega purchased a gun, which jammed when he attempted to test fire it. Vega, Purvis, and a group of friends examined the gun. Another man took it apart and cleaned it. Witnesses said Vega and Purvis were playing with the gun and laughing when the gun accidentally fired. Purvis was shot in the face and killed. Vega told police he did not realize the gun was loaded. There is no evidence of an argument, conflict or animosity before this tragic incident took place. 

“This man did not intentionally shoot his friend,” said Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price. “This was, clearly, a mistake. Mr. Vega admits that. Other witnesses agree. His behavior was inexcusably negligent but this was an accident. While we deeply empathize with Mr. Purvis’ family and friends, James Joseph Vega should not, potentially, spend decades of his life behind bars for a tragic mistake.” 

## Contact: Communications Director Traci Grant, // 628-249-1288

Alameda County District Attorney Announces Gun Enhancements Appropriate In Hayward Murder


Vaughn Boatner’s Case Is A Prime Example Of When Enhancements Should Be Applied 

District Attorney Pamela Price has authorized a gun enhancement for Vaughn Boatner, a 33-year-old man accused of murdering his pregnant ex-girlfriend in her Hayward home on May 11, 2023. DA Price also has authorized his extradition from Washington state to California to face those charges, in addition to attempted murder charges and child abuse. 

Mr. Boatner, of San Mateo, is accused of fatally shooting 30-year-old Monique Aldridge seven times in the head and also shooting her new boyfriend Jacques Jackson Fields once in the head and in the arm. The incident unfolded in front of the five-year-old son both Aldridge and Boatner shared.  

Mr. Jackson Field survived and managed to protect the young boy. U.S. Marshals captured Vaughn Boatner on May 22 in Seattle. He will be brought back to Alameda County to face justice.  

“In this instance, we believe the major gun enhancement is appropriate in this egregious violent crime,” DA Price said. “The message I will continue to repeat is that our special directive doesn’t prohibit all gun enhancements. Each crime requires a painstaking evaluation of the evidence and the circumstances. Unless required by law or excluded from the policy, enhancements are not going to be automatically applied. They will be used sparingly when appropriate, as in this case.” 

Without any gun enhancements, Boatner could face 25 years to life for the first-degree murder of his ex-girlfriend and seven years to life for attempted premeditated murder of Jackson Field. With enhancements, he could face 50 years to life for murder and 32 to life for attempted murder. 

## Contact: Communications Director Traci Grant, // 628-249-1288 

Two Men Accused Of Fatally Shooting Toddler Jasper Wu Will Be Prosecuted On Murder Charges

Bivens and Green Face Stiff Penalties, If Convicted

In court documents filed Tuesday, Ivory Bivens, 24, and Trevor Green, 22, were charged with murder and special gang enhancements for the murder of 23-month-old Jasper Wu.

Wu was riding in a car with his family on I-880 in Oakland on November 06, 2021 when he was shot and killed by a stray bullet. Mr. Bivens and Mr. Green are accused of ambushing another vehicle with an AR-15-style rifle. According to the evidence, Mr. Bivens and Mr. Green followed the car in which Mr. Johnny Jackson was a passenger onto the highway and, without provocation, while trying to kill Mr. Jackson and the driver of that car, they shot and killed Jasper Wu.

In a preliminary hearing last month, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Scott Patton ruled that Jackson was the victim of an ambush. Jackson is charged with felony possession of a firearm. Judge Patton upheld murder charges for Bivens and Green.

“We will continue to hold these men accountable for these serious charges that will likely land them behind bars for the rest of their lives,” said Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price.

If convicted, Bivens faces 265 years to life in prison. Green faces 175 years to life in prison. Jackson faces a 3-year prison term.

## Contact: Communications Director Traci Grant, // 628-249-1288