July 2015

Doctor Charged with Multiple Counts of Illegal Presciptions Jul 30, 2015

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office today charged defendant Dr Carol Jessop with four felony counts of unlawful prescription of a controlled substance, two felony counts of providing prescription of a controlled substance to an addicted person, three misdemeanor counts of excessive prescribing and administering of drugs, and one misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance.

Dr Carol Jessop had a pain management and palliative care clinic in Oakland. Dr Jessop wrote nearly 5,000 prescriptions for controlled substances in a year period in 2014-2015. She wrote prescriptions for such large quantities of opioids and other dangerous drugs (in some instances more than 10 times the recommended daily maximum dose) that many major pharmacies began to refuse to fill prescriptions written by her. Dr Jessop used to hand out to patients a flyer listing the small pharmacies that would fill her prescriptions.

“The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office is ever vigilant in our investigation and prosecution of health care providers who disregard the law. We as a community place deep trust in those who are trained and licensed to practice medicine, and Dr Jessop failed to abide by the basic standard of care and professionalism we expect of our health care providers,” said District Attorney Nancy O’Malley.

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DA O’Malley and DTSC Director Lee Announce Sentencing of Two Defendants for Environmental Crimes Jul 29, 2015

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley, together with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) Director Barbara A. Lee, announced the sentencing today of Kirk Hayward and Charles Seaton, respectively the former owner and the former vice president of Clearwater Environmental Management, Inc., for felony convictions of conspiracy.

For years, Hayward and Seaton ran the Union City-based company and systematically defrauded Clearwater’s customers, falsified Clearwater customers’ official hazardous waste disposal records, and transported hazardous waste without a license from DTSC.

Defrauded Clearwater customers, including BART, Closure Solutions, Pape Machinery, and Recology, had hired the business to ensure compliance with their legal obligations as generators of hazardous waste, to lawfully transport and dispose of their hazardous waste, and to truly and accurately document disposal in official hazardous waste tracking records called ‘manifests’. However, Clearwater failed to provide customers with all of these environmental services.

“The defendants’ intentional and repeated crimes not only cheated Clearwater’s customers, but wholly undermined the integrity of environmental laws designed to protect public health and the environment,” said District Attorney O’Malley. “We will not tolerate hazardous waste crimes, including the falsification of hazardous waste records. My office greatly appreciates the considerable resources spent and expertise demonstrated by DTSC’s investigators that supported this successful prosecution.”

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Murder Charges Filed in Slaying of Hayward Police Officer Jul 24, 2015

OAKLAND, CA – Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley announced her office has formally filed murder charges against Mark Anthony Estrada, 21, for the July 22 killing of Hayward Police Department Sergeant Scott Lunger. The complaint filed in the Alameda County Superior Court today charges Estrada with first degree murder with special circumstances. The three special circumstances are murder of a peace officer, lying in wait, and discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle.

On July 22, just after 3am, Sergeant Lunger pulled over a white pickup truck driving erratically. He approached the vehicle to speak with the driver. Without warning or provocation, defendant Estrada opened fire on Sergeant Lunger. A second Hayward Police officer who had also responded to the scene returned fire, striking Estrada. Defendant Estrada fled the scene and his vehicle was found discarded at 98th Avenue in Oakland. Sergeant Lunger died of his injuries at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley a short time later.

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People v Marchell Ernest Mitchell Jul 21, 2015

On July 21, 2015, a jury convicted Marchell Ernest Mitchell of a felony assault likely to produce great bodily injury, and misdemeanor battery.

On March 19, 2014, defendant Mitchell was working as a school security officer at Oakland High School. He assaulted victim Francisco Martinez, a 17-year-old student who was wheelchair-bound due to cerebral palsy.

After a confrontation where defendant Mitchell restrained the victim using handcuffs, the victim challenged defendant Mitchell about the event. The victim spat at defendant Mitchell as the defendant pushed his wheelchair. Defendant Mitchell subsequently punched the victim three times in the face, threw him out of his wheelchair. As the victim lay handcuffed on the ground, defendant Mitchell struck him again, then picked him up and and dropped him back to the ground.

The case was prosecuted by DDA Gemma Daggs with assistance from DA Inspectors Blair Alexander and Timothy Cleary, and Victim-Witness Advocate Yuen Chiang.

Our Family Justice Center Celebrates a Decade Serving Victims Jul 17, 2015

On June 30, 2015, the Alameda County Family Justice Center (ACFJC) celebrated ten years helping victims of crime in Alameda County by hosting an Open House for the community. Hundreds of people came out in support of the positive role the Center has played in our community and they enjoyed a BBQ lunch and guided tours of the facilities.

The founder of the ACFJC, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, spoke of the inspiration behind establishing the center. “Back in 2003, I performed a needs assessment of the services available to, for example, a female victim of domestic violence with two children in Alameda County. I found that she would potentially need to visit over 25 different sites to access all the services that she required for herself and her family,” DA O’Malley said.

“This status quo was further victimizing these victims. So I decided to change this by establishing a center that housed an abundance of allied health, legal, psychological and other support services in one, easily accessed location. And in 2005, the Alameda County Family Justice Center became a reality, making it much easier for victims of crime to seek the help they need,” said DA O’Malley.

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People v Christian Birdsall-Hernandez Jul 14, 2015

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.

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People v Daniela Guzman Jul 10, 2015

On June 30, 2015, a jury found defendant Daniela Guzman guilty of second degree murder and conspiracy to commit assault, along with gang enhancements for both charges. Previously, defendant Guzman’s brother, Rafael Tovar, and friend Daniel Lloyd Howard were convicted of murder for their role in this crime.

In September 2010, defendant Guzman invited victim Justice Afoa and his friend Anthony to a party at her family home. Defendant Guzman had previously dated Anthony, but the relationship ended poorly and Guzman’s brother (Rafael Tovar) was angry at Anthony. A fight ensued and Tovar was badly beaten. Over the next few months, Tovar conspired to murder the victim.

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People v Karl George Sanft Jul 7, 2015

On June 30, 2015, the Honorable Judge Joseph Hurley found defendant Karl George Sanft guilty of two counts of first degree murder and the special circumstances of multiple murder and robbery to be true. Judge Hurley further found the defendant to be sane at the time of the commission of the crimes.

Shortly after 3AM on February 2, 2010, defendant Sanft was under the influence of methamphetamine and violently robbed the Manheim Auto Auction in Hayward by ramming the gate. Unarmed security guard Angelito Erasquin fled in fear but defendant Sanft chased him down and stabbed him 28 times, killing him. Defendant Sanft then stole the victim's phone, watch, and wallet before and stealing a car from the Auction's lot.

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People v Jahmari Selvam Butler Jul 6, 2015

On June 29, 2015, a jury convicted Jahmari Selvam Butler of armed carjacking, robbery, evading the police, and being in possession of a stolen car.

On July 24, 2013, at around 2am, the victim was sitting double-parked with his hazard lights on waiting for his friend near Lake Merritt. He was approached by 3 to 4 males, including Defendant Jahmari Butler. One of the suspects pointed a gun at the victim and ordered him out of the car. The victim complied and the defendant and the suspects fled in the victim's car.

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