Contra Costa DA drops charges against two suspects in mutilation, burning of Antioch woman’s remains over cops’ racist texts

Police, fire department personnel investigate the scene of Mykaella Kayla Sharlman’s body found on fire along the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail in Antioch, Monday morning, Oct. 17, 2022. Herald file photos

People vs. Montalvo and Boone cases can be brought back; among cases under review by DA, Public Defender; suspects released; responding officers, lead detective not implicated in texting scandal

By Allen D. Payton

According to Public Information Officer Ted Asregadoo, on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office determined the prosecution of The People of the State of California vs Ashton Montalvo and Deangelo Boone could not proceed to trial and moved to dismiss the case.

A dismissal at this juncture affords the District Attorney’s Office the ability to refile criminal charges
against Montalvo and Boone and reinitiate legal action if new evidence is developed.

In this case, the prosecution of 42-year-old Deangelo Laraye Boone of Antioch and 33-year-old Ashton
Kentrell Montalvo
, of either Bay Point or Antioch, for mutilation and arson of the remains of 25-year-old Mykaella Kayla Sharlman found on the Mokelumne Trail in Antioch on October 17, 2022, relied heavily on the investigative work of Antioch Police Officers who are associated with racist text communications. (See related articles here, here, here, here and here)

After thoroughly reviewing the officers’ role in this case, applying relevant legal principles, and considering ethical responsibilities, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office no longer has confidence in the integrity of this prosecution.

“Our office extends our deepest sympathies to the family of Mykaella Sharlman and we aspire to renew this prosecution if presented with the opportunity to do so,” Asregadoo shared.

Case No. 04-22-01086 | The People of the State of California vs. Montalvo, Ashton 

Case No. 04-22-01085 | The People of the State of California vs. Boone, Deangelo Laraye

As previously reported, District Attorney Diana Becton, Public Defender Ellen McDonnell, Betty Barker from the Alternate Defender Office, and the Director of the Contra Costa Conflict Program, Oksana Tsykova met in April to discuss the creation of a process to address cases affected by the disclosure of cruel, racially insulting, and hostile text messages written or received by members of the Antioch Police Department.

The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office is working to identify cases that are potentially compromised by the text messages. Once we’ve identified those cases – and any overlapping conflicts — they will
initiate a detailed review process for potential dismissal, resentencing, or the preservation of convictions.

The DA’s Office was asked for the names of the officers associated with the two cases and if the suspects have been released. Asregedoo responded, “APD should have the information on what officers were involved in the investigation of the Boone/Montalvo case. As to whether both men are out of custody,
unless they have holds on priors, they are likely out.”

“The texting scandal was only part of it,” he added. “There were other issues with the case. But we’re hopeful APD can pursue other investigative avenues and bring more evidence to review for a charging decision.”

Antioch Police Department PIO Corporal Price was then asked for the names of the officers and Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jimmy Lee was asked if the suspects had been released. 
publication time.

Lee responded, “They are no longer in custody.”

UPDATE: Kendall responded, “We will not be releasing the names of the officers involved in the investigation. However, none of the officers that initially responded to the call or the lead detective that filed the case were implicated in the text messages.”

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

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