Alameda County

JLWOP Inmate Francisco Monteros

Defendant Francisco Monteros was convicted of first degree murder and attempted murder. The jury further found true the special circumstances allegation that defendant intentionally killed Mario Ulloa on November 14, 2001 while defendant was an active participant in a criminal street gang and that the murder was carried out to further the activities of the criminal street gang. With respect to the attempted murder count, the jury found that defendant had personally used a firearm and had intentionally and personally discharged a firearm in the attempted murder of Linda Rodriguez

As to the first degree murder count, on September 7, 2005 the trial court sentenced defendant to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus an additional consecutive term of 25 years to life for personal discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury Monteros received a total sentence of life without the possibility of parole, plus 52 years for enhancements and the attempted murder.

The victim, Mario Ulloa was affiliated with a branch of the Surenos gang. Defendant was affiliated with a gang known as DGF, which is a branch of the rival Nortenos gang. In the fall of 2001, Mario and his girlfriend, Linda Rodriguez , lived with his family in a part of Hayward, which was considered to be the heart of DGF territory.

On November 14, 2001, at approximately 7:40 p.m., Mario and Linda were returning home by bicycle. Mario was pedaling the bicycle and Linda was sitting on the cross-bar. As Mario turned onto Pensacola Way, he told Linda that he hoped there were no Nortenos out on the street. Immediately, Linda saw a group of five or six men standing in front of a house.

Francisco Monteros  emerged from the group of men and ran in front of Mario’s bicycle, and confronted the victims. As Mario began pedaling faster, defendant started chasing Mario and Linda.  Three seconds later, Linda heard three gunshots. Mario screamed, and both he and Linda fell off the bicycle. Linda got up and started running toward Mario’s house. She heard Mario say, it’s cool, it’s cool, it’s cool.  Approximately 15 seconds after she heard the first three shots, Linda heard six more shots. As Linda was running, a bullet dropped from her pants. While she was still running, Linda touched herself and felt blood on the right side of her back.  A neighbor who knew Francisco Monteros testified at trial that she saw him shooting a gun at a twitching body on the ground.

Mario’s brother also testified he saw Francisco Monteros shoot his brother and then escape in a car.

JLWOP Inmate Carl Leopold

Carl Leopold was sentenced in Alameda County on October 8, 1998 to life without possibility of parole for murdering an alleged drug- dealer and leaving a second man for dead in .the December 1, 1996 double shooting at an industrial park in Fremont. Two other men involved in the shooting, Edgar Detrinidad, 20, of Tracy and James Velez, 22, of Oakland were taken into custody several days after the shooting.

Leopold was the gunman who killed Roberto Aracia, 25, of Newark execution-style and shot and wounded a 25-year-old Fremont man.  Fremont police Captain Mike Lanam said the three men planned the shooting days in advance to “do a drug rip-off.”  Detrinidad had bought drugs from Aracia in the past, and Velez allegedly acted as the lookout, police said.

Both Aracia and his companion were ordered to lie face down on the pavement before Leopold shot them, Lanam said. The second man was shot in the back and head.

As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle

JLWOP Inmate Deonte Donald

Jurors found 22-year-old Deonte Donald guilty of the special circumstance of multiple murders and of a number of robbery and burglary charges committed when Donald was seventeen and a member of a notorious Oakland gang who had terrorized the city.  On June 6, 2006, he was sentenced to life without possibility of parole plus 79years.

A bloody 10-week crime spree began in late 2002 and ended in early 2003 that included five slayings and scores of robberies throughout Oakland by six killers who called themselves the Nut Cases. The deaths were committed by men motivated largely by the thrill of killing, roaming the city looking for victims and joking that they were single-handedly driving up the tally, police said. The suspects told police they would spend their time getting high and playing the violent video game “Grand Theft Auto III” — which rewards players for committing crimes — and then would act out what they’d done when they grew bored with the game.

Two days after Christmas in 2002, two members sprayed more than twenty rounds of bullets into a house party, killing two celebrators inside, including a 14-year-old boy.  They just went to the residence, knocked on the door and opened fire with an assault rifle. Keith Macki, 14, was shot in the head and became Oakland’s youngest homicide victim of the year. Jerry Duckworth, 24, a family friend who tried to save the boy as a hail of gunfire burst out, died when he was struck six times. A third victim, Michael Vassar, was shot three times but survived.

As violent as the Nut Cases were, the night of Jan. 6, 2003, was especially bad, investigators said. It began in Berkeley, where police said the crew robbed three people outside the Ashby BART Station. Minutes later, they robbed and beat another man, then drove to Piedmont, where they pistol-whipped a man walking home from the Grand Lake movie theater. Then they headed to a neighborhood just east of Lake Merritt, where they had committed robberies in the past, police said. Cindy Li testified she was standing on Sixth Avenue near her broken Ford Taurus with the hood popped open when two Nut Cases approached, demanded money and started rifling through her pockets.  

The rampage ended with the brutal murder of Sunny Thach.  Thach had just helped his wife carry their laundry inside when he remembered one more bag of baby clothes still in the car and went to retrieve it. He was shot dead in his front yard minutes later, begging for his life as his wife and toddler looked on, by robbers who took $31. Thach’s wife, Sylvia Tang, testified that she was standing in the doorway of their apartment, witnessed the incident and screamed. ‘He shot Sunny in the head, and then he tried to shoot me,” said Tang, who ducked with their toddler, avoiding the bullets

As reported by Jim Herron Zamora, San Francisco Chronicle

JLWOP Inmate Anthony Milton

An Oakland man was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for shooting to death 16-year-old Perla Hilarios in Oakland six years before…

Anthony Milton was convicted on Aug. 10 of first-degree murder, using a gun to kill someone and the special circumstance of committing a murder during the course of a robbery in connection with the death of Hilarios on Dec. 2, 2003.

 Milton deliberately shot Hilarios in the face at point-blank range while he and his brother, Juan Milton, were robbing Hilarios’ boyfriend.  Hilarios tried unsuccessfully to defuse the situation and her last words before she was fatally shot were, “It’s O.K. It’s cool.”

A teenage boy who was with Hilarios and her boyfriend managed to injure the Milton brothers by pulling out a .gun and shooting them, Oakland police said.


JLWOP Inmates Ramon Shields and Clemeth Castille

Shields and Castille , both 17 at the time of the crimes committed on  November 11, 1996,  conspired with  18-year-old  co-defendant Robert Brown  to rob an Oakland Market. Shields provided the weapons, two sawed off shotguns, one being a .16 gauge Winchester with a pump action, and the other being a .12 gauge Mossberg.  Brown was the driver for the robbery.

Both Castille and Shields wore ski masks when they went in the market. Castille demanded money from store clerk Abdo Nashar who struggled with Castille for the gun. Another clerk Nabil Abdulla was checking a display counter and saw the struggle between Castille and Nashar, and witnessed Shields pointing his shotgun into the interior of the market. As Abdulla was trying to hide behind a refrigerator, he heard two shots being fired. The forensic evidence indicated that Nashar was killed with the weapon that Shields was using, and shotgun pellets from Castille’s firearm were found near the cash register.

Both Shields and Castille were sentenced to life without possibility of parole on November 18, 1999.  Their appellate cases reached the level of the United States Supreme Court on the issue of whether a tape recording of the police interview in which the defendants were interviewed jointly should have been introduced at trial when adoptive admissions were elicited. The USSC remanded the case back to the lower state court to determine if the adoptive admissions in the interview constituted error in light of the ruling in the recent USSC Crawford case. The state court found that there was no Crawford error and affirmed the judgment against the defendants