Plea Deal Reached for Three Defendants Pending Jury Trial in Murder, Kidnapping, Residential Burglary, and Identity Theft Case

June 3, 2024

OAKLAND, CA—Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price announced that her office has secured plea deals for three defendants pending jury trial. They are accused of the murder of Benjamin Hemmann, who was found bound, gagged, strangled to death, and left on the side of the road in the Oakland Hills back on September 6, 2021.

Defendant Richardo Onteveros pleads guilty to second-degree murder and faces a 15-year-to-life sentence in state prison. Defendant Kevin Woodruff pleads guilty to home invasion robbery in concert and possession of stolen property and faces a 6-year and 8-month sentence. Defendant Bryan Wu pleads guilty to first-degree residential burglary and faces a sentence of 6 years in state prison.

The investigation, conducted by Deputies and Detectives with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, included evidence containing witness testimony, surveillance video, location data, and text messages extracted from cell phones. The evidence also reveals that two defendants, Woodruff and Wu, brought the victim to the alleged murderer, defendant Onteveros. Benjamin Hemmann’s body was discovered on a turnout on the side of Redwood Road in the Oakland Hills, bound, gagged, and later determined to have been strangled to death. The evidence showed that all three defendants participated in burglarizing the Hemmann family home and fraudulently used the victim and the victim’s father’s identification information after the murder.

“Each defendant has entered guilty pleas and accepted responsibility for their actions in the kidnapping, murder of Benjamin Hemmann and the residential burglary and identity theft of James Hemmann. These were heinous crimes. The pleas by the defendant ensure they will face the appropriate consequences and accountability for their conduct in these cases,” said DA Pamela Price. “Our office extends condolences to the victim’s family and friends. I want to thank the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Detectives for their work in delivering a case our prosecutors believed could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt which led to these three defendants admitting their roles in these crimes. I commend our prosecutor, Nathan Feldman, Inspector Jason Turner, and Victim-Witness Advocate, Claudia Romero, for their professionalism and work on this case with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.”

The case against the fourth defendant, Marshonna Whittle, who faces residential burglary and identity theft charges, is pending and yet to be scheduled for trial. The sentencing hearing for defendants Richardo Onteveros and Bryan Wu is set for June 26, 2024. Kevin Woodruff’s sentencing hearing is set for July 2, 2024.   All sentencing hearings will be heard at 9:00 AM in Department 12 at René C. Davidson Courthouse.

 

 

Contact: damedia@acgov.org

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office (DAO) is one of California’s largest prosecutors’ offices and is led by Alameda County’s first Black woman District Attorney Pamela Y. Price. Price brings her vision to this office to fairly administer justice in the pursuit of thriving, healthy, and safe communities for every person who steps foot in Alameda County, no matter their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, income, or zip code. Price has been recognized as one of the most progressive prosecutors through her forward-thinking, innovative strategies to interrupt cycles of violence and crime and bring change to a criminal justice system rooted in systemic racism. Follow Madam DA on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and @AlamedaCountyda on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.