July 2012

SCAM ALERT: Residents Urged to Beware Private Companies Offering Massage Therapy Training, Licenses Jul 27, 2012

OAKLAND, CA – The Consumer Fraud Unit of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office is issuing a consumer advisory to Bay Area residents about certain private companies offering massage therapy training and accreditation.

Through recent solicitations in newspapers, certain private companies engage students interested in a career in massage therapy. In order to enroll in the course, these companies require the applicant to pay a fee and disclose personal information, such as social security number, driver’s license and immigration information. Certain private companies take the applicant’s money but do not provide services, nor do they issue the necessary certificates and transcripts required for accreditation. These companies are scams.

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Charges Filed in Gang Related Murder of 23 Month Old Boy and Attempted Murder of Six Jul 20, 2012

Oakland, CA -- Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley announced today that her Office has filed a criminal complaint in the adult division of the Alameda County Superior Court against Frederick Charles Coleman, age 16. The complaint alleges one count of murder and six counts of attempted murder. Each count alleges several enhancements including that Defendant Coleman personally used a firearm in the commission of the crimes and that those victims who survived the shooting suffered great bodily injury. Each count also contains an enhancement against Defendant Coleman alleging that the murder and the attempted murders were committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal street gang.

These charges are based upon the crimes Defendant Coleman committed and/or in which he participated on November 28, 2011, when he and his adult co-perpetrators shot at a group of people, killing 23-month-old Hiram Lawrence Jr and injuring several other people. Two teenage boys as well as four adults sustained gunshot injuries.

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Curtis Martin Guilty as Charged for Murder of Girlfriend and her Young Child Jul 19, 2012

On July 19, 2012, defendant Curtis Martin pled guilty as charged to murdering his girlfriend, Zoelina Toney, and his girlfriend’s young child, Jashon Williams. Defendant Martin was charged with, and pled guilty to, two counts of murder and three special circumstances for killing a witness, for killing by means of lying in wait, and for killing more than one victim. The defendant also pled to being a felon in possession of a firearm and admitted three prior felony convictions.

The charges stem from defendant Martin's brutal murder of Zoelina Toney on November 13, 2009, who was found beaten and shot to death at Berkeley’s Aquatic Park. Two days later, on November 15, 2009, the body of Zoelina’s 17 month son, Jashon Williams, was found floating in the water at the Berkeley Marina. Jashon's body was badly decomposed and an autopsy was unable to determine a cause of death.

Defendant Martin was in trial and jury selection was ongoing when the defendant pled guilty as charged to the Court and waived any right to appeal. There was no plea agreement with the District Attorney’s Office. Defendant Martin will be sentenced to the maximum punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole on December 3, 2012. The prosecutor was DDA Tim Wellman.

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SCAM ALERT: Homeowners Should Beware Private Companies Offering Grant Deeds for a High Fee Jul 17, 2012

OAKLAND, CA -- The Real Estate Fraud Unit of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office is issuing a consumer advisory to Bay Area residents about recent mailings from private companies offering to obtain a copy of grant deeds or property title records for a high fee.

The solicitations offer to obtain a copy of the grant deed for a high fee, which can be up to 20 times more than the actual cost charged by the County Recorder. In Alameda County, a copy of a grant deed can be obtained for as low as $3.50.

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Did You Know Issue 2, 2012 Jul 3, 2012

In the latest installment of our Did You Know newsletter, we feature:

  • Our 2012 National Conference on Human Trafficking and Exploitation was a resounding success
  • Oikos University shooter One L.Goh charged with multiple counts of murder
  • $1.96M settlement for a 2009 San Francisco Bay oil spill
  • DA's Office carries the torch for the Special Olympics
  • Conviction in attempted murder of a police officer
  • $3.6M settlement of environmental action against Costco
  • DA's Office celebrates Victims' Rights Week
  • From the Courtroom

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People v Mills Jul 2, 2012

Recent verdict:

On June 28, 2012, a jury convicted David Mills of three counts of first degree murder, one count of premeditated attempted murder, and two counts of animal cruelty stemming from a March 10, 2005 shooting in Oakland's Brookfield Village district.

During the five week trial jurors heard testimony from Elizabeth Martinez who survived after being shot three times. Ms. Martinez identified David Mills as the shooter of her husband, Dale Griffin, her sister, Rebecca Martinez, and a friend, James Martin as they were seated in a car parked in the 9900 block of St. Elmo Drive. Ms. Martinez's willingness to cooperate with Oakland Police led to David Mills' arrest several hours later. At the time of his arrest Mills was found in possession of a 9mm semi automatic pistol. The pistol proved to be a ballistics match to ten casings recovered at the crime scene. Other evidence tying Mills to the shooting included records from Rebecca Martinez's cell phone showing two calls between her phone and a phone connected to David Mills within minutes of the murders.

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