Archive for the ‘Sheriff-Coroner’ Category

Melissa Klawuhn promoted to Contra Costa County Assistant Sheriff

Saturday, February 27th, 2021

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff

New Contra Costa County Assistant Sheriff Melissa Klawuhn. Photo: CCCSheriff’s Office

Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston is pleased to announce the promotion of Captain Melissa Klawuhn to the rank of Assistant Sheriff effective February 27, 2021.

Captain Klawuhn joined the Office of the Sheriff in 2001 as a Laboratory Aide in the Forensic Services Division. In 2003, she was promoted to Deputy Sheriff Criminalist and attended the police basic academy. The next year she transferred to the classification of Deputy Sheriff and had assignments in custody service, patrol and investigation. During that time she served as a Bay Point resident deputy and homicide detective. Captain Klawuhn was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2013, to lieutenant in 2016 and captain in 2019. Captain Klawuhn previously served as a team leader of the Hostage Negotiation Team and the commander of the SWAT Team.

Before joining the Sheriff’s Office, Captain Klawuhn, who has a degree in animal science, was a high school chemistry teacher.

“The Office of the Sheriff values our community partnerships and diversity, and I am honored to transition into this new leadership role,” said Captain Klawuhn.

In her new role, Captain Klawuhn will be one of four Assistant Sheriffs in the organization. She will oversee the Administrative Services Bureau. This includes personnel, finance, professional standards, recruitment, and training.

“It is my privilege to promote Captain Klawuhn,” said Sheriff David Livingston. “She has handled numerous high profile and critical assignments as she climbed the ranks in the department. She has shown outstanding dedication and leadership and made many contributions to the department and community. I thank her for taking on new responsibilities as we serve the community and guide the department into the future. Congratulations to Captain Klawuhn.”

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Formal charges of murder, other crimes filed against suspect in Antioch drive-by shooting and Discovery Bay homicide

Wednesday, February 24th, 2021

Also tied to store robbery in Brentwood; bail lowered from $11 million to $9.8 million

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff

This morning detectives from the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff, Antioch Police Department and Brentwood Police Department jointly filed their cases against 26-year-old Darryon Williams of Stockton. He is the suspect in Saturday’s multiple shooting of first responders in Antioch, a murder in Discovery Bay and robbery in Brentwood. The Contra Costa D.A.’s Office has filed the following charges against Williams: Complaint filed vs. Williams February 24 2021

  • Murder
  • Second degree robbery
  • Shooting from a vehicle
  • Assault on peace officer/firefighter with semiautomatic firearm (6 counts)
  • Assault with a semiautomatic firearm (3 counts)
  • Fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle while driving recklessly

Williams remains in custody at the Martinez Detention Facility. He is being held in lieu of $9,790,270 bail. According to Scott Alonso, PIO for the Contra Costa DA’s Office, Williams’ arraignment will be held Thursday, Feb. 25 at 1:30 p.m. in Department 1 of the Contra Costa County Superior Court building in Martinez.

The Office of the Sheriff would like to thank the Antioch and Brentwood Police Departments for their assistance during our homicide investigation. The three agencies worked together closely and collaboratively. The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information on the Discovery Bay homicide is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division through Sheriff’s Office dispatch at (925) 646-2441 or at (925) 313-2600. For any tips, email: tips@so.cccounty.us or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.

The Antioch Police Department can be reached at (925) 778-2441. Anonymous text tips can be sent to 274637 with the keyword ANTIOCH. The Brentwood Police Department can be reached at (925) 809-7911.

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Discovery Bay homicide victim shot by same suspect arrested for drive-by in Antioch Saturday night, search on for suspect’s son and his mother

Sunday, February 21st, 2021

Photo and information: CCCSheriff

Suspect identified, being held on $11 million bail

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff

Tues., Feb. 23, 2021 UPDATE: From the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office – Regarding the Discovery Bay homicide on Saturday, Kimberly Meeks and her son were located this morning and they are safe.

On Saturday, February 20, 2021, at about 8:51 PM, Antioch police officers, AMR medics and Con Fire personnel were shot at by a subject in a drive-by shooting. Two were hit and sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect fled the scene and was pursued by numerous law enforcement agencies. The suspect was taken into custody in the City of Richmond. The suspect was later identified as 26-year-old Darryon Williams of Stockton.

Later that evening, the Antioch Police Department requested Contra Costa Sheriff’s Deputies contact a person related to their case and conduct a welfare check at a residence on the 2100 block of Newport Court in Discovery Bay.

Delta Station Deputy Sheriffs arrived at the residence and found the door to the home open. Deputies conducted a protective sweep of the house and discovered a deceased individual inside with apparent gunshot wounds. The person was later identified as 64-year-old Michael Iliff of Discovery Bay.

Sheriff’s Office homicide detectives and crime lab personnel responded to the location. They were assisted by the Antioch Police Department, CHP and other agencies.

Investigators later identified Williams as the suspect in the murder of Iliff. After being interviewed by detectives, Williams was booked today at about 1 PM into the Martinez Detention Facility on the following charges: one count of murder and ten counts of attempted murder. He is being held in lieu of $11 million bail.

Kimberly Meeks and her car. Photos: CCCSheriff

Sheriff’s Office detectives are trying to locate Williams’ four-year-old son and the mother of the child, 31-year-old Kimberly Meeks of Discovery Bay. She has links to the Stockton/Sacramento area. Detectives have concerns about their safety. They are traveling in a dark colored Audi SUV with California license plate – 8UKN742.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on this homicide or the whereabouts of Meeks and her son is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division through Sheriff’s Office dispatch at (925) 646-2441 or at (925) 313-2600. For any tips, email: tips@so.cccounty.us or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.

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Firefighter, paramedic injured in drive-by shooting in Antioch Saturday night, suspect from Stockton caught in Richmond

Sunday, February 21st, 2021

Both first responders in stable condition with non-life-threatening wounds; ambulance and police car also struck by gunfire; incident under investigation

By Lt. John Fortner, Investigations Bureau, Antioch Police Department & Steve Hill, Public Information Officer, ConFire

On Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, at approximately 8:51 PM, Antioch police officers were called to the 1900 block of Auto Center Drive on the report of a citizen requiring emergency medical attention. A fire engine from Contra Costa County Consolidated Fire Protection District (Con Fire), and an ambulance from Contra Costa American Medical Response (AMR) also responded to the medical call.

While tending to the patient in the parking lot near Auto Center Drive, a suspect in a silver SUV drove by the team of first responders and began shooting at the group. Afterwards, the suspect turned around and drove past the group again firing a second series of shots. A 31-year-old male Con Fire firefighter and a 58-year-old male AMR ambulance transport Alliance paramedic were caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting while responding to a serious medical emergency in Antioch Saturday night.

Shots were reported at 9:08 p.m. shortly after firefighters and paramedics arrived on scene. Both first responders and the original medical call patient were transported to local area hospitals at approximately 9:30 p.m.  The firefighter was shot in the foot and the paramedic was shot in the leg and their injuries were determined to be non-life threatening. An ambulance and a police car were also struck by gunfire.

Several Antioch officers gave chase onto Highway 4 as the suspect vehicle fled westbound towards the City of Pittsburg. The vehicle pursuit traveled through Contra Costa and Alameda Counties and ended in the City of Richmond after the suspect vehicle collided with a parked vehicle. The suspect attempted to flee from the scene of the collision, but he was quickly taken into custody by officers from Richmond PD and the California Highway Patrol. The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff Air Support Unit also provided critical assistance. A firearm was collected at the scene.

“Tonight’s senseless shootings are a vivid reminder of the very real dangers our first responders face, often side-by-side with our law enforcement partners, as they work to save lives across our communities,” said Lewis T. Broschard III, fire chief, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. “We are grateful for the public outpouring of support for our wounded firefighter and AMR paramedic and for the work of law enforcement across the Bay Area to bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice.”

“As representatives of our firefighters, and in support of the police and EMS personnel we respond with on a daily basis, we are grateful to report both first responders injured in tonight’s shooting incident are expected to make full recoveries,” said Vince Wells, president, United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County. “I would like to thank the members of the community of Antioch and beyond for your words of concern and support regarding those injured in tonight’s incident. We expect to learn more as the investigation uncovers more details regarding this incident.”

Antioch Police Department detectives with the Violent Crimes and Special Operations Units responded to the scene, along with crime scene investigators, and took over the investigation. The investigation is still active, and evidence is being collected and evaluated.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925) 778-2441, or Detective Brogdon at (925) 779-6895. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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National Prescription Drug TAKE BACK Day Saturday, October 24

Friday, October 23rd, 2020

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) would like to invite you to take part in a national effort to keep our communities safe. The DEA and the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff hold Take Back Days aimed to provide a safe, convenient, and ecologically responsible method of prescription medication disposal while also focusing on prevention and education.

Take Back Day is this Saturday, October 24, 2020, from 10 AM to 2 PM,

Bring your pills for disposal at the following sites. The DEA cannot accept needles or sharps, only pills, patches, and liquids sealed in their original container. Vaping cartridges and devices with batteries removed can be accepted at Take Back collection sites. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Take Back Collection Sites:

-Office of the Sheriff Muir Station, 1980 Muir Road, Martinez (Field Operations Building)

-Office of the Sheriff Bay Station, 5555 Giant Highway, Richmond (West County Detention Facility)

-Office of the Sheriff Delta Station, 9100 Brentwood Blvd., Brentwood

-Danville Police Department, 510 La Gonda Way, Danville

-Orinda Police Department, 22 Orinda Way, Orinda

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. The DEA’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Take Back event, go to the DEA Office of Diversion Control website at: www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov.

 

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Antioch man dies from apparent suicide while in custody at West County Detention Facility

Monday, October 19th, 2020

Arrested for elder abuse, in jail since Oct. 2; Sheriff’s Office investigating

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff

On Saturday, October 17, 2020, at about 6:15 PM, a deputy sheriff escorted a Mental Health Clinician to speak with an inmate at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond.

As the deputy opened the door to the inmate’s cell, she found him unresponsive with a bed sheet wrapped around his neck. Deputies and jail medical staff provided life saving measures until an ambulance and the fire department arrived. The inmate was later pronounced deceased at the scene.

The inmate is identified as 42-year-old Gregory Lynds of Antioch. He was originally arrested by the Antioch Police Department and was booked into jail on October 2, 2020. He was being held on two felony counts of elder abuse (likely to produce great bodily harm or death), two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, parole violation, and battery on a peace officer.

The investigation into the apparent suicide is being investigated by the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office and Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600. For any tips, email: tips@so.cccounty.us or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.

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Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab receives state grant

Monday, October 12th, 2020

The Forensic Services Division of the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff was awarded $408,853.00 in grant funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety. The funding will be used to purchase a Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometer (LC-MS/MS).

The new equipment can detect illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter drugs commonly found in driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) and drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) cases. The addition of this equipment will enable the Sheriff’s Crime Laboratory to provide a higher level of service to the agencies in Contra Costa County and the criminal justice system.

“We are pleased to receive this grant from the Office of Traffic Safety,” said Contra Costa County Sheriff David O. Livingston. “This will increase our efficiency and enable us to provide rapid results to law enforcement and prosecutors on DUID cases in Contra Costa County.”

The purchase of the new instrument, training, and method validation are anticipated to take up to one year. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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In spite of public opposition Supervisors approve COVID-19 violation ordinance, fines

Wednesday, July 29th, 2020

“You are not being inconvenienced that much.” – Supervisor Karen Mitchoff

  • Half-Cent Sales Tax Ballot Measure Plans Hung Up in Sacramento

  • Sheriff Continues Cooperation With ICE

By Daniel Borsuk

Over citizen objections, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0, Tuesday to approve fines for non-commercial and commercial public health violations in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new ordinance that goes into effect immediately requires citizens to wear face masks in the public and in commercial settings or one can be subject to a fine, or multiple fines.

Contra Costa County Health Services Director Anna Roth told supervisors the county needs an ordinance setting down fines because as of Tuesday the county’s COVID-19 caseload is still rising with 7,304 cases. In the county there have been 108 COVID-19 related deaths, she reported, of which 70 percent occurred in long term care facilities. County health officials have observed a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases since May. Roth pointed out the county is on the state’s COVID-19 Monitoring List.

Deputy County Health Director Randy Sawyer explained there is an “urgent need” for county supervisors to adopt an ordinance establishing fees so that county health enforcement officers can enforce public health orders especially during the current pandemic.  Citizens are not wearing masks and are not practicing social distancing, Sawyer said.

Sawyer said there are about 200 businesses that the county has ongoing public health complaint issues with the department.

Similar ordinances have recently been adopted in Marin and Napa counties, and the Contra Costa County ordinance requires persons to wear masks when engaged in noncommercial and commercial activities.  In Contra Costa, for the first noncommercial violation the fine is $100, $200 for the second violation and $500 for each additional violation within one year of the initial violation.

For commercial activity violations, the fine for the first violation is $250, $500 for a second violation, and $1,000 for each additional violation within one year of the initial violation. “If a violation continues to more than one day, each day is a separate violation,” the ordinance states.

Public Opposition to Mask Ordinance & Fines

Speakers opposing the ordinance said requiring persons to wear masks violates their Constitutional rights. “I oppose this ordinance because it violates our liberties, “said Dave Sutton. “It restricts our liberties.”

Similarly, Deborah Thompson said, “I oppose the ordinance because it is an abridgement of our liberties.”

Comments like those sparked District One Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond to say, “I am shocked by the lack of literacy and scant knowledge that people have.”

The supervisor said some people don’t understand that this virus is causing a public health crisis where this county “may soon run out of ICU beds and two thirds of the people who have died in the county lived in congregant living facilities.”

“We are out to get these numbers down,” Supervisor Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill said in reference to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the county. “A health order will do that. You are not being inconvenienced that much.”

Mitchoff, who noted Contra Costa County’s fines are less than other Bay Area county fines, said  the new ordinance will mean persons will now be required to wear a mask when they out of their house, even when they go to the fast-food drive thru. “If you don’t want to wear a mask then get used to wearing a ventilator,” the supervisor warned.

Richmond resident Edith Alderman supported the ordinance commenting,” I’m 100 percent in favor of the ordinance.  This can help get a handle on this disease.”

Speaking on behalf of the board, Chair Candace Andersen of Danville said “Many people are following the Health Order, but we need to increase our efforts together to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. To further our progress, to protect lives and reopen more local businesses and activities, we need a tool to send a fair message that everyone has to adhere to health orders to prevent the spread of the virus.”

“With a 14 percent unemployment rate, this is not the time for a sales tax hike” – Board Chair Candace Andersen

Half-Cent Sales Tax Ballot Measure Plans Hung Up in Sacramento

With the legislative clock ticking in Sacramento, the supervisors plan to meet at a special teleconferenced meeting next Tuesday in order to get a status report to waive the second reading on the supervisors’ resolution calling for a Nov. 3 half cent sales tax ballot proposal.

The special meeting was called because state legislators have not convened to act on proposed legislation, especially Contra Costa County State Senator Steve Glazer’s Senate Bill 1349, a transactions and use tax law, that the supervisors need the state Legislature to pass and Governor Gavin Newsom to sign by August 18 or the supervisors’ half cent sales proposal will not appear on the November ballot.

Deputy County Administrator Tim Ewell explained without passage of SB 1349, the county will  lose $800,000 to $1 million in state revenue to cover printing costs tied to the ballot measure, but the clock is ticking and the supervisors need to have SB 1349 passed in the legislature and signed by the governor by August 18.

“I want those funds,” said supervisor Mitchoff, “but it will only move forward if the legislature acts.”

Supervisors voted 4-1, with Chair Candace Andersen of Danville casting the lone opposing vote, to move forward to meet next Tuesday.

“I will not support it” said Andersen, who also opposed the tax increase proposal at the board’s July 14 meeting.  “With a 14 percent unemployment rate, this is not the time for a sales tax hike with such high unemployment rate.”

One of the few speakers opposing the proposal Tom Townsend of El Cerrito, said, “I am taxed to the limit and I oppose the half cent sales tax.”

“I am unsure if this ballot measure will pass,” warned District 3 Supervisor Mitchoff, but she voted in favor of it anyway.

Tax proponent Supervisor Gioia said a county resident would typically pay $60 to $80 a year should the tax measure pass in November.

The proposed language for the county tax measure reads:

“To keep Contra Costa’s regional hospital open and staffed; fund community health centers; provide timely fire and emergency response; support crucial safety-net services; invest in early childhood services, shall the Contra Costa County measure levying a ½ cent sales tax, exempting food sales, providing an estimated $81,000,000 annually for 20 years that the state cannot take, requiring fiscal accountability, with funds benefitting county residents, be adopted?”

Sheriff Continues Cooperation with ICE

Sheriff David Livingston ran into criticism from the public about how the Sheriff’s Office works with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) but is not expected to change his policies.

“The Sheriff continues to respond to ICE notification requests,” said Melanie Kim, a staff attorney for Advance Justice – Asian Law Caucus. “These practices are especially cruel given that COVID-19 is running rampant inside ICE facilities.  People in ICE custody are vulnerable to grave illness or death.”

The sheriff told supervisors that because of the COVID-19 hygiene practices that his officers and the inmates use at the West Contra Costa facility in Richmond and Martinez jail, there have been no reported COVID-19 cases.

The sheriff reported that in the past year his office detained for ICE enforcement purposes, 72 were Hispanic prisoners, 18 were Asian prisoners, one was a Black prisoner, three were white prisoners, and two “other” prisoners.

Sheriff Livingston said of the 95 prisoners reported to ICE, 71 were charged for miscellaneous felonies, four for penal or murder, five for robbery, two for car jackings, and for 11 for assaults with deadly weapons.

While there were a number of critics of the Sheriff’s Office asking that the Board of Supervisors to reduce funding for the upcoming 2020-2021 fiscal year, Karen Clarkson was one of few backers of Sheriff Livingston’s department requesting that funding remain unchanged. “I support the Sheriff,” she said. “It is an unsafe practice to defund the Sheriff.”

“This county should be safe for everyone, whether they are documented or undocumented,” said Anisha Walker, who requested that supervisors cut funds to the Sheriff’s Office.

“I have no sympathy for those who break the law and are violent criminals, “said Supervisor Mitchoff. “I support the sheriff. And I support social justice and equality at a time we are in a COVID -19 pandemic.”

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