Archive for the ‘Children & Families’ Category

California CASA releases 2019/2020 Impact Report: Stronger Together

Friday, March 12th, 2021

California CASA announced today, Friday, March 12, 2021, that it has published its 2019/2020 Impact Report, which reinforces the organization’s mission as it relates to helping serve the over 83,000 youth in California’s foster care system, local CASA programs, and Court Appointed Special Advocates. This year’s report also focuses on the unique actions the organization took in the wake of unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During this exceptional year, the 44 CASA programs in our state experienced first-hand how difficult it was, at times, for children in foster care to get their basic needs met. California CASA also witnessed the dedication and resiliency of CASA staff, boards, and volunteers in their outstanding support of youth who have experienced abuse and neglect,” said CA CASA CEO Sharon M. Lawrence, Esq. “The 2019/2020 Impact Report showcases the strength of our network and the potential to serve even more children by recruiting, training, and overseeing a growing and more diverse group of volunteer advocates in each county.”

The title of this year’s report — Stronger Together— underscores the cooperative relationship of California CASA and the variety of community members that come together to care for children across the state. In the midst of these tumultuous times, California CASA’s flexibility enabled the organization to operate exceptionally in an environment where county and state guidelines shifted in unpredictable ways. This purposeful approach was enhanced by dedicated CASA staff and volunteers at individual CASA programs adapting to ever changing dependency court and public health requirements that impacted advocates and the youth they are connected to.

The report looks at the how California CASA managed a wide range of initiatives to strengthen the service, quality, and impact of Court Appointed Special Advocates around the state.

Summary of 2019/2020 Impact in California:

  • 14,150 children in California foster had the support of a CASA volunteer.
  • 8,798 Court Appointed Special Advocates worked on behalf of children.
  • $17.6M+ worth of volunteer service hours were provided by CASA volunteers to foster youth.
  • 6,628 hours of technical assistance were provided by California CASA to local CASA programs.
  • $8.5M+ in funding was facilitated by California CASA for local CASA programs.
  • 2500 local CASA staff and volunteers attended California CASA webinar training sessions.

California CASA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization ensuring that children and youth in California’s foster care system have both a voice and the services they need for a stable future. California CASA connects the 44 county CASA programs in the state in order to raise awareness of the need for Court Appointed Special Advocates and provides support, advice, resources, and oversight to maintain high-quality programs that serve children’s best interests. California CASA is a member of the National CASA/GAL Association for Children.

 More information about California Court Appointed Special Advocates Association can be found here:  


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Supervisors chastise DA Becton over outdoor wedding, OK demolishing old admin, county jail buildings

Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

Historic photo of old Contra Costa County jail. Source: Architectural Preservation Foundation of Contra Costa

Architectural Preservation Foundation wants old jail preserved for other uses; Board hears from Budget Justice Coalition on COVID related equity issues; COVID-19 variant draws concern

By Daniel Borsuk

Contra Costa Supervisors Candace Andersen and Karen Mitchoff chastised Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton, during the Board’s meeting on Tuesday, for holding her wedding reception in the backyard of her El Sobrante home in August in violation of COVID-19 health protocols.

“I think we give up hope when our top public officials improperly conduct themselves,” District 4 Supervisor Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill said.

“What District Attorney Becton did was wrong.  There were so many events that so many of us had to give up that were important,” Mitchoff later said. “It just needs to be called out.  We cannot sweep it under the rug and act as if this did not happen.”

“I feel very frustrated about the wedding District Attorney Becton had at her home” remarked District 2 Supervisor Andersen of Danville.  “I was very surprised that she would have a party after a wedding, knowing it was in violation of county health codes.”

In her defense, Becton said: “I did everything I believe was in proper guidance with what I thought was allowed.  I realize public officials like myself are held to a higher standard as we should be.”

Becton married Rev. Dr. Alvin C. Bernstine, a fourth-generation preacher and the author of his most recently published book, Hope Us, Lord. (See related article)

Approve Demolition of Old County Administration Building, Old County Jail

Over the concerns of preservationists, supervisors flashed the green light for Contra Costa County Public Works officials to hire a design-build contractor to demolish the old 12-story county administration complex at 651 Pine Street in Martínez and the old county jail across the street from the administration complex so that either a two or three-story office building can be constructed on the site of the old administration building.

In December, the county opened a new four-story, 71,000 square foot Administration Building across the street from old the Pine Street building.

It would cost about $65 million to demolish the old building and then build a two-story building and $75 million to build a three-story office building.  The County plans to provide parking and open public space on the land cleared through demolition.

“Four years ago, we presented over 300 signatures to you for preservation,” said Architectural Preservation Foundation of Contra Costa President Cheryll Grover. “There has been no current relevant community outreach on this issue.”

According to the organization’s website, “In 1989 the entire Contra Costa County ‘Court House Block’ was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the 1903 County Jail and the present-day Finance Building.  The National Register described these as classically inspired dignified structures of Vermont granite ‘designed to represent stability and permanence.’”

County officials have shown interest in using the Pine Street site for office space for the Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office, Public Offender’s Office, Health Services and the Office of Racial Justice and Equality.

Supervisors said because of the old jails building material – concrete to keep prisoners inside along with concerns about the presence of asbestos, made it problematic to renovate the old jail.  Grover said her preservation group did propose alternative proposals to rehabilitate the old jail, but their proposals apparently fell short of the mark as far as meeting County Public Works criteria.

From slide show presentation to CCCBOS 020921.

Hear from Budget Justice Coalition on COVID Related Equity Issues

In other action, the Supervisors heard a presentation from the Contra Costa Budget Justice Coalition and the Bay Area Equity Atlas on COVID Related Equity Issues, to ensure all county residents are treated fairly during recovery from the pandemic.

According to their slide show, “The Contra Costa Budget Justice Coalition advocates for community engagement in the Contra Costa County budgeting process and for a set of values-based budgeting principles that support safe and affordable housing, stable employment with fair wages, sufficient healthy food, essential health care, access to critical social services, and quality early care and education.”

Presenters spoke on the subjects of Disparate COVID Health, Housing, and Economic Impacts, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Community Challenges and Stabilizing Neighborhoods and Equitable Relief.

They offered proposed solutions and plans of action in response including: “Producing and Maintaining lasting affordable housing”; “Prioritize equity and those most in need – evictions, food, housing, health, essential services”; “Protect and stabilize vulnerable households and workers”; “Connect low-wage workers with economic opportunities”; and “‘Build Back Better’ through equitable investments in a stronger, fairer, more sustainable economy”; among others.

Santa Clara County COVID-19 Variant Draws County Warning

A deadly Coronavirus variant now prevalent in Santa Clara County could surface in Contra Costa County, Contra Costa County Health Department Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano informed supervisors.

“Getting a vaccine is still the most important thing one can do to protect oneself,” said Dr. Farnitano upon informing supervisors about the Santa Clara County variant.  So far, 800 patients in Santa Clara County have been stricken with this variant and “there have been a couple of cases of this variant in Contra Costa County,” he said.  “We expect to be more knowledgeable about this variant in the next couple of weeks.”

The Santa Clara County COVID-10 variant is one of a number of Coronavirus strains to have surfaced globally, particularly in Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Dr. Farnitano said because Contra Costa County remains in the Purple Tier, at or under 46.2 new infections as it was in late January, school grade levels K to 6 can “bring back students as soon as tomorrow (Wednesday).”  The restart of school for grade levels 7 to 12 will be determined later.

County health officials made the COVID-19 announcements at the same time United States health officials announced Tuesday that the most severe surge of the COVID-19 pandemic in the nation has weakened significantly based on major metrics.  Nationally, newly reported cases have declined 56 percent over the past 30 days.  Hospitalizations have declined 38 percent since January 6.  The seven-day average of COVID-19 tests returning positive declined to 6.93 percent over the past week, the lowest rate since October 31.

Dr. Farnitano announced religious institutions can reopen at 25 percent occupancy, but chanting, singing and the serving of food are prohibited, he said.

Contra Costa Health Services Director Anna Roth also confirmed the county will receive $40 million in stated COVID-19 vaccine distribution funding but, could not provide details.  Last week, there were initial reports the state aid the county would receive would be shared with health organizations Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield.

County Health Equity Officer Gilbert Salinas said the county’s efforts to equitably distribute the vaccine throughout the county, especially in parts of the county where there are more people of color or economically disadvantaged is gaining traction.  He reported that about 70,000 vaccine shots had been administered to county residents and retailers like Safeway, RiteAid, and WalMart are participating in the administration of vaccine shots.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.


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Contra Costa County Clerk’s office to officiate weddings on Valentine’s Day 2021

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

By Dawn Kruger, Civic Outreach and Engagement Specialist

Photo: CCC Clerk

The Contra Costa County Clerk’s Office will officiate wedding ceremonies on Valentine’s Day – the most romantic day of the year.  Valentine’s Day is celebrated on Sunday, February 14th.  Twenty-one ceremonies will be performed at the Contra Costa County Clerk’s office, located at 555 Escobar Street in Martinez between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.

“Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday this year and despite the many limitations posed by the pandemic, we are thrilled to offer safe, socially-distant appointments for couples to exchange nuptials on this special and popular day that symbolizes never-ending love,” Assistant Clerk-Recorder Barbara Dunmore said. “Not surprisingly, the appointments filled to capacity very quickly.”

Typically, the County Clerk’s Office officiates Valentine’s Day ceremonies as part of the Destination Wedding program in a picturesque or historic location. The pandemic has caused this program to be put on hold for the near future.  It is not likely to resume until the shelter order is lifted.

As with all ceremony appointments offered throughout the pandemic, the Clerk-Recorder’s Office takes precautions to keep our constituents and our staff safe.  Strict COVID-19 protocols will be in place and ceremonies will be conducted with a glass barrier between the couple and the officiant.  Only the couple getting married will be permitted in our lobby.

All appointments for the Sunday ceremonies have been filled, and the County Clerk’s Office does not accept walk-in appointments.

Before the ceremony, couples must obtain a marriage license at the main office in Martinez. The civil marriage ceremony fee is $60. Couples can obtain a public marriage license for $86 or a confidential marriage license for $90.

The County Clerk’s Office continues to conduct wedding ceremonies during the week.  Couples interested in having their ceremony at the Martinez office must make an appointment.  For information about marriage license and ceremony services, go to or call the office at 925-335-7900.

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El Campanil Theatre Academy for children begins Monday, Jan. 11

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

Learn Film Acting, Voice-Overs, Stage Combat, Children’s Theatre, Technical Theatre, Improvisation

Since 2006, El Campanil Theatre has offered El Campanil Children’s Theatre – a tuition-free, performance-based program that has served as a first stepping stone for hundreds of young actors over the years, introduced by Sharon Redman.

As arts programs get slashed everywhere, we asked ourselves what our greater responsibility was: to our students, to their parents, and to the community.

We have expanded Sharon Redman’s original concept into El Campanil Theatre Academy — a tiered, multi-layered program meant to not only educate students in the performing arts, but give them tools for career placement in the performing arts. Classes ranging from acting to design, from directing to playwriting, and from voice to movement–all taught by industry professionals.

Tuition-free and low-tuition classes are available below. Limited scholarships are available by applying here.

These classes have been designed to be taught either virtually or in-person, depending on the COVID regulations at the time that classes begin.

For schedule and more information, click here.

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2021 Contra Costa County Fair canceled

Thursday, December 10th, 2020

ANTIOCH – As a major event facility, The Contra Costa Event Park has been weighing all of its options, as we monitor the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. There is no higher priority than the safety of our Fairgrounds family, patrons, vendors, promoters and sponsors at the Contra Costa Event Park. It is with heavy heart and great regret due to this ongoing situation the Contra Costa Event Park Board of Directors met last night and unanimously voted to cancel the 2021 Contra Costa County Fair scheduled for May 13 – 16.

We understand that this decision has both financial and emotional impact on all of our Fair partners. After thoughtful consideration, we do not feel it would be a responsible decision to continue with the planning of the 2021 Contra Costa County Fair, when it could potential be canceled at the last minute.

The Contra Costa County Fair has been an annual event for over 80 years, and has operated uninterrupted, with the exception of a few years during World War II. The Fair is a large part of our communities’ history and tradition, and the decision to cancel the 2021 Fair did not come lightly.

We thank the community and all of our partners for your continued support during these challenging times.

We look forward to seeing you all safe and healthy for the 2022 Contra Costa County Fair May 12 – 15.


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El Campanil Theatre brings Santa safely to your family

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

El Campanil Theatre Preservation Foundation presents “Live From The Workshop”. By appointment, now through December 20, 2020, online, in your home

Since the beginning of October, El Campanil Theatre has been finding ways to safely bring entertainment into the homes of their patrons and community with “Live From El Campanil”, a live-streamed concert series featuring outstanding performances across    music genres.

At the end of a tempestuous year, the non-profit El Campanil Theatre wanted to find another way to let    audiences enjoy the holiday season safely. “For me, one of the greatest holiday traditions is bringing your children and grandchildren to see Santa,” laments Executive Director Rick Carraher. “The pandemic has rightfully made us all wary about bringing our loved ones to a public place. We wanted to find a way to keep that very special tradition alive, somehow.”

“Live From The Workshop”, a limited holiday series running on weekends from December 5th-20th, is     trying something unique: a live Zoom chat with the Big Guy himself, Santa Claus, right from his workplace at the North Pole. For $20 per household, families can book 5-minute sessions with Santa, can ask questions, tell him what they want for the holidays, and, best of all, the families will get a downloadable link of their chat with Santa so they can treasure it forever.

Upon purchase, parents will also get a link to fill out a personalized form to give Santa’s team more information prior to the chat, and can even upload their child’s wish list or letter to Santa so that he can have it in advance.

Tickets are $20 per household and available at or by calling (925) 757-9500.

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Sutter Delta nurses protest Dec. 31 closure of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

Sutter Delta Medical Center nurses protest the Dec. 31 closure of the hospitals Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. Photo by Allen Payton

Patients will be transferred to Alta Bates in Berkeley or other hospitals; mother and baby could be separated; closure based on financial challenges and lack of need; all unit staff have been offered other positions at the medical center

By Allen Payton

Holding signs that read “Don’t Put Babies At Risk! Keep Our NICU Open!”, nurses at Antioch’s Sutter Delta Medical Center staged a protest on the sidewalk next to the entrance of the hospital Lone Tree Way on Tuesday opposing the closure of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in January.

“That means patients will have to be transferred to another hospital, like Alta Bates instead,” said one of the nurses said at the protest.

“Mothers who are under 37 weeks gestation or high risk will be transferred to another facility,” Mari Ward, an RN at Sutter Delta shared. “Babies born inside the hospital requiring NICU care will now be transferred to Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley or Children’s Hospital in Oakland, separating mothers from their newborn.”

“So far this year, approximately 16% of our babies needed some form of NICU care,” she added.

According to a Nov. 30 press release from the California Nurses Association, “the hospital plans to shutter the unit by the end of December. The NICU unit cares for critically ill babies. After the closure, sick babies will be transported to other facilities, potentially placing patient safety in jeopardy. RNs who staff the NICU have expressed concern that the hospital’s policy is short-sighted and will leave infants in their first hours of life vulnerable to the worst possible outcomes.”

“Often the most difficult, trying moments for a baby that requires intensive care is the first few minutes and hours when we struggle to stabilize the baby,” said Ward. “This is highly skilled work that takes training and experience. I am so scared for the babies that we care for. That is why I am speaking out.”

The CNA press release continued, “Currently the hospital relies on NICU nurses not just for inpatient NICU stays but also as a nursery for ‘transition babies.’ Transition babies are essentially well but exhibit some worrisome signs that need to be monitored. For example, transitional tachypnea of the newborn, which more frequently occurs in newborns born to diabetic or asthmatic mothers and those born via cesarean section. These newborns with small signs of respiratory distress may require monitoring or interventions, including respiratory support.”

“Many babies have small signs of respiratory distress. In most cases they end up fine. But sometimes things go south,” Ward said. “Having trained neonatal nurses monitor these situations can save a life or prevent long-term complications.”

“This company’s decision to cut off our patients and our community from vital services is unconscionable,” said Sharon Martinez”, an operating room registered nurse.

“The NICU nurses respond daily to assist when complications arise during birth,” said Edith Owens, a registered nurse in the hospital’s Ambulatory Care Surgery unit. “Shame on Sutter Delta for putting profits over ensuring that they are alive and healthy to meet those challenges. Who will be there in these situations when we are gone?”

“This closure was announced prior to the beginning of January 2021, therefore only a 30-day notice is required,” Ward explained. “If it was announced after January 1st, 2021, under AB 2037 which was endorsed by the California Nurses’ Association, the hospital would have been required to give a 90 day notice, publish in the newspaper, notify the public, notify local city council, etc. This was a rushed notice with no plan on how or when to train L&D staff on newborn stabilization or allowing the Women’s Health Center time to prepare. Babies lives are at risk. This is a huge concern for our obstetrics doctors and the doctors specifically ask that this was shared with the media as well.”

Ward shared an official statement during a press conference about the NICU closure Tuesday afternoon.

“My name is Mari Ward, and I am a registered nurse in the NICU at Sutter Delta Medical Center. I’m joined by my RN colleagues from Sutter Delta. Our message today is an urgent response to Sutter Delta’s short-sighted decision to close the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  This closure would be a loss for this community, which depends on this hospital to have resources of specially-trained personnel like NICU nurses to address any complications that may occur during birth or after. A few examples of complications include: emergency deliveries outside the unit (ie the hospital parking lot), internal ‘high risk’ births, and resuscitation/stabilization of the tiniest of pre-term babies known as ‘micropremies.’ Closing this hospital’s NICU also threatens families. There’s a chance a mother could be separated from her newborn who would have to be transferred if NICU services are needed. The hospital is placing profits over patient safety. Placing financial line items and profit over ensuring that these critically ill infants remain alive and healthy. As Union nurses it is our duty to speak publicly about these failures, just as it is our duty to care for our patients at the bedside. We call on our Employer to immediately rescind this decision to close the NICU. Thank you.

We need the community’s support in this fight to keep our NICU open!”

According to Sutter Health Media Relations Manager, Monique Binkley Smith the decision to close the NICU at Sutter Delta was based on financial challenges and lack of need.

“Many hospitals across the country are facing financial challenges, which the global health crisis is making even more urgent,” she shared. “As many people continue to delay preventive care and avoid hospital emergency departments, Sutter Delta Medical Center (SDMC) patient volumes, like those at many hospitals across the country, have not returned to pre-pandemic levels and are not expected to in 2021.”

“Added to this difficult environment, the birthrate and the demand for neonatal intensive care services have both declined in the Delta region for the past three years. Births at SDMC have declined about 32% since 2016,” Binkley Smith continued. “Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) discharges at SDMC follow a similar pattern. This year, SDMC’s special care nursery has had an average census of less than one baby per day. In fact, many days there are no babies in the SDMC NICU. In the face of significant volume loss for the hospital overall and the declining demand for neonatal intensive care services, SDMC has made the difficult decision to close its special care nursery, also called a Level 2 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), by December 31, 2020.

“It is important to note that all affected staff members have been offered roles at SDMC or within the Sutter Health integrated network of care, and these staff members will also be provided with retraining if needed. Sutter Health and SDMC value and support the unique talents and strengths that each employee brings to our organization,” she stated. “SDMC will continue to provide high-quality Labor and Delivery services to the Delta community. Additionally, in order to ensure the highest quality of care for any baby that needs a higher level of care, all SDMC Labor and Delivery nurses will receive additional training as required.”

Transfers to Alta Bates Not New

Binkley Smith confirmed that patients will be transferred to Alta Bates, but that it’s not a new practice.

“As has been the practice for years, babies born at SDMC that require a higher level of care will continue to be transferred to the Level III NICU at sister hospital Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, or to another appropriate hospital,” she shared. “This is common practice; many community hospitals do not offer NICU services. The vast majority of babies born at SDMC do not require NICU services and stay in-room with their parents after they are born.”

“SDMC is proud of the exceptional level of care provided families and their newborns by its staff, nurses and affiliated physicians,” Binkley Smith offered. “SDMC will continue to evolve its services to reflect the Delta community and meet the needs of its patients.”

She also added a note about Level II NICU/Special Care Nurseries: “A special care nursery or Level II NICU provides the lowest level of NICU care for newborns. Typically, the babies in a Level II NICU are premature infants born after 32 weeks gestation or who are moderately ill with problems such as jaundice that are expected to resolve rapidly.”

California Nurses Association Responds

In response, California Nurses Association labor representative, Robert Heaster who was in attendance at Tuesday’s protest, wrote, “This closure would be a loss for this community, which depends on this hospital to have resources of specially-trained personnel like NICU nurses to address any complications that may occur during birth or after. A few examples of complications include: emergency deliveries outside the unit (ie the hospital parking lot), internal ‘high risk’ births, and resuscitation/stabilization of the tiniest of pre-term babies known as ‘micropremies.’

Closing this hospital’s NICU also threatens families. There’s a chance a mother could be separated from her newborn who would have to be transferred (up to 40 miles) if NICU services are needed. This short-sighted decision by the hospital is placing profits over patient safety. Placing financial line items and profit over ensuring that these critically ill infants remain alive and healthy. As Union nurses it is their duty to speak publicly about these failures, just as it is their duty to care for the patients at the bedside. We call on the Employer to immediately rescind this decision to close the NICU. Thank you.”


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Brentwood woman arrested at Antioch motel, charged with murder for death of her 2-year-old child from fentanyl intoxication

Thursday, November 5th, 2020

By Brentwood Police Department

It was the call that every officer dreads to hear…

On September 20, 2020, at around 2:54 AM, Brentwood officers responded to a residence in the 50 block of Havenwood Ave. to investigate a report of an unresponsive 2 year-old child, later identified as Jasani Kerry. His mother, 22-year-old Genesis Barrera-Galdamez, had found him unresponsive and telephoned emergency personnel.

When officers and emergency personnel arrived on scene, they performed CPR for several minutes, however, Jasani was ultimately declared deceased. The preliminary investigation revealed drug paraphernalia and illicit drugs that later tested positive for fentanyl in the presence of Jasani preceding his death. Weeks later, a Contra Costa County Coroner’s pathologist determined Jasani’s cause of death was due to acute fentanyl intoxication.

Following an extensive follow-up investigation, Brentwood investigators prepared an arrest warrant for Genesis charging her with murder.

On October 30, 2020 at around 3:30 PM, investigators located Genesis at the Comfort Inn Hotel located at 2436 Mahogany Way in Antioch and took her into custody without incident. Genesis was booked at the Martinez Detention Facility on the outstanding arrest warrant.

Yesterday the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office formally charged Genesis with second-degree murder, possession of narcotics for sale, and child abuse resulting in death. Genesis is being held on $1.1 million dollar bail.

Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends who have been affected by this tragedy. The loss of any child is difficult for anyone to bear; we hope the arrest in this case can bring some peace to those affected.

Rest in peace Jasani.

Arraignment Scheduled For November 18

Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office Public Information Officer Scott Alonso issued the following about the case Thursday morning:

Earlier this week, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office filed murder charges against Genesis Barrera-Galdamez (22-year-old resident of Brentwood) for the death of her two-year-old son, Jasani Kerry, Jr. Barrera-Galdamez was also charged with felony child abuse and felony possession of Fentanyl to sell. Two enhancements were also filed tied to the child abuse charge against the defendant: willful harm causing injury and great bodily injury resulting in brain damage and paralysis. The young child consumed fentanyl under the care of Barrera-Galdamez. The child’s autopsy report later ruled the toddler’s death was caused by Acute Fentanyl Toxicity.

Brentwood Police Department investigated the case and presented it to our Office for filing. Homicide Unit Supervisor Derek Butts reviewed the investigation and filed the charges listed above.

“While the Defendant did not intend that her son Jasani die, the evidence shows that she was aware her Fentanyl possession and use was dangerous to human life and despite this knowledge, exposed Jasani to the danger which ultimately led to his death, stated Deputy District Attorney Butts. “Well known amongst abusers, Fentanyl is an exceptionally toxic and dangerous substance.  The act of exposing people to or supplying others with Fentanyl, if death results, can lead to murder charges.”

In the early morning hours of September 20, the defendant called police and stated her son was not breathing and non-responsive. She told the police that her son appeared blue and his body was very cold. CPR performed at the scene by Brentwood Police Officers and continued by American Medical Response personnel for over 30 minutes did not revive the boy. Officers at the scene located multiple items of drug paraphernalia on and around the bed the Defendant shared with Jasani, including 13 grams of powdered Fentanyl, baggies and tin foil pieces containing Fentanyl residue and a torch lighter.

After Jasani’s death, Barrera-Galdamez attempted to sell Fentanyl to multiple parties. Brentwood Police Department officers obtained a warrant for the arrest of the defendant on October 29th. The following day, Barrera-Galdamez was arrested at the Comfort Inn in Antioch, where she was engaging in Fentanyl sales.

Barrera-Galdamez made her first appearance in court yesterday and she remains in custody with bail set at $1,100,000. Her arraignment on the charges was set for November 18th.

Case information: People v. Genesis Barrera-Galdamez, Docket Number 04-200626-0.


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