Archive for the ‘District Attorney’ Category

PG&E disputes Shasta County criminal charges related to 2020 Zogg Fire

Saturday, September 25th, 2021

2020 Zogg Fire statistics. Source: CalFire

SAN FRANCISCO — PG&E Corporation shared the following statement from CEO Patti Poppe today, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021 regarding criminal charges filed by the Shasta County District Attorney’s office related to the September 2020 Zogg Fire. The utility company was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of four people, and other felonies and misdemeanors for the Zogg Fire and other fires that started in the county over the last year and a half.

“We are all devastated by the effects of wildfire here in California. My heart aches. I have seen firsthand how devastating it is and have spoken with many of those most harmed. These communities are the hometowns where my coworkers live and work, too. While I am new to this environment, I hope my heart never becomes hardened to the devastation that catastrophic wildfire can cause.

I came to PG&E to make it right and make it safe, which is a commitment that my 40,000 coworkers and contract partners all share. We’ve already resolved many victim claims arising from the Zogg Fire, along with the claims by the counties of Shasta and Tehama. And we are working hard to resolve the remaining claims.

We’ve accepted CAL FIRE’s determination, reached earlier this year, that a tree contacted our electric line and started the Zogg Fire. We accept that conclusion.  But we did not commit a crime.

Today’s climate and unprecedented drought have forever changed the relationship between trees and power lines. And please know we’re not sitting idly by. We have established a new standard for our lines and the vegetation near them because it poses such a real risk to our communities.

For example, on the Zogg Fire, the tree that started the fire is one of over 8 million trees within striking distance to our lines. Here are a few other facts.

Between October 2018 and last year’s Zogg Fire:

  • Two trained arborists walked this line and independent of one another determined the tree in question could stay.
  • We trimmed or removed over 5,000 trees on this very circuit alone.
  • This year we will remove 300,000 trees statewide.

This vital safety work is all done by real people who are trying every day to do the right thing. Trained, professional people – my PG&E coworkers and our extended contractor family. Arborists, specifically, are trained professionals and sometimes, just like doctors or architects, they can have professional differences. There will be debates about the facts around the tree that started the Zogg Fire. Professional debate in the service of doing what is right and continuously improving.

This was a tragedy, four people died. And my coworkers are working so hard to prevent fires and the catastrophic losses that come with them. They have dedicated their careers to it, criminalizing their judgment is not right. Failing to prevent this fire is not a crime.

Right now, PG&E is:

  • Investing more than $1.4 billion this year alone in vegetation management;
  • Removing 300,000 trees and trimming 1 million more;
  • We’re working toward burying 10,000 miles of power lines;
  • We’re installing remote and micro grids to eliminate the wires altogether; and
  • We’re reestablishing and building our system to a new standard of resilience that keeps our communities safe and powered as our climate continues to change around us.

We are seeing signs of progress. For example, even during this year, with extreme drought conditions, we have reduced our ignitions over 50%.

That is our best ever performance since we have been tracking this and yet, we are still dissatisfied. That’s why we are not going to stop there.

We’re putting everything we’ve got into preventing wildfires and reducing the risk. Though it may feel satisfying for the company of PG&E to be charged with a crime, what I know is the company of PG&E is people,  40,000 people who get up every day to make it safe and to end catastrophic wildfire and tragedies like this.

Let’s be clear, my coworkers are not criminals.  We welcome our day in court so people can learn just that.”

Poppe’s statement is also available on PG&E Currents and broadcast quality video is available here.

Details about PG&E’s efforts to further reduce the growing wildfire risk, harden its systems, and use new technologies to help keep its communities safe can be found in the company’s 2021 Wildfire Mitigation Plan.

About PG&E Corporation

PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG) is the parent company of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E or the “Utility”), a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements that are not historical facts, including statements about the beliefs, expectations, estimates, future plans and strategies of PG&E Corporation and the Utility, including but not limited to the criminal charges filed in connection with the 2020 Zogg fire and the Utility’s vegetation management and system hardening efforts. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions, which management believes are reasonable, and on information currently available to management, but are necessarily subject to various risks and uncertainties. In addition to the risk that these assumptions prove to be inaccurate, factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements include factors disclosed in PG&E Corporation and the Utility’s joint annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, their most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2021, and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available on PG&E Corporation’s website at and on the SEC website at PG&E Corporation and the Utility undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether due to new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by law.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Contra Costa DA’s Office appoints Arnold Threets as Chief of Inspectors

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Arnold Threets is given his oath of office as the new Chief of Inspectors by Contra Costa District Attorney Diane Becton on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. Source: CCDA

By Bobbi Mauler, Executive Assistant to the Contra Costa County District Attorney

New CCDA Chief of Inspectors Arnold Threets. Source: CCDA

District Attorney Diana Becton announced Tuesday, that the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office appointed Arnold Threets as the new Chief of Inspectors. He initially joined our Office in 2019 as the Assistant Chief of Inspectors and was sworn in today as our new Chief.  Please welcome him as the new Chief of Inspectors and below is his impressive bio:

Arnold is an experienced executive leader with almost 30 years of law enforcement experience. Prior to coming to the District Attorney’s Office, he spent the preceding 25 years with the Richmond Police Department where he served, managed, and lead various patrol, investigative, tactical, and administrative units. Arnold served with distinction, retiring from the Richmond Police Department as a Police Captain in November 2018.

Arnold has a strong operational background in field and investigative operations. This led to his selection as the founding Commander of RPD’s Special Investigative concept where he led the effort to reduce violent gang crime, by working closely with the City of Richmond’s Office of Neighborhood Safety on a community driven, police-involved, focused deterrence model of preventing violent gun crime. This approach has become a national model for reducing violent gun crime, albeit without alienating the community we’re sworn to protect.

“I have known Chief Threets since I was a judge in Richmond and he was a young detective. I was always impressed with his demeanor, candor, and commitment to justice,” Becton shared. “I have watched his career as he rose all the way through the ranks of the Richmond Police Department, retiring as a Captain. Arnold continues to help our Office modernize and embrace new technologies and strengthen our protocol investigations.”

While at RPD, he developed an appreciation for the role technology could play in keeping our communities safe. He led RPD’s transition to a new computer aided dispatch (CAD)/Records Management System (RMS), as well as their adoption of Axon body worn cameras. This interest and experience with technology made him a natural fit to lead the Office’s expansion of the use of with our law enforcement partners throughout the County.

He joined the District Attorney’s Office in June of 2019 as the Assistant Chief of Inspectors. Since coming to the Office, he’s played a key role in the development, training and implementation of DA Becton’s new internal Protocol investigative process. At the request of the Contra Costa County Chiefs of Police Association, he partnered with former Chief Assistant Venus Johnson to train County law enforcement personnel on the changes to the law regarding the use of deadly force, as well as the updates to our internal investigative process.

Threets considers himself to be the ultimate ‘late bloomer’ in that he didn’t finish his formal education until he was in his 40’s. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Management from The Union Institute and University in Ohio and a Master’s Degree in Criminology, Law and Society from UC Irvine. He graduated from CA POST Command College Class 56 and the Senior Management Institute for Policing (SMIP) Class 66.

“This is a position with significant responsibilities and I’m thankful to DA Becton for the confidence and trust she has placed in me,” Threets said. “I’ve been working in this community for over 27 years and it’s an honor to continue serving the citizens of Contra Costa County.”

He is a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps and he and his wife, Tessa, have three adult children.


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Applications now available for Contra Costa DA’s Office Fall 2021 Community Academy

Wednesday, September 8th, 2021

Due Sept. 24; Academy begins Oct. 13

By Scott Alonso, PIO, Contra Costa County Office of the District Attorney

District Attorney Diana Becton announced Tuesday, that the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office will launch a fourth Community Academy class this October. The goal of the academy will be to strengthen community relations and provide residents a better understanding of our criminal justice system. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, this fall’s class will be limited, and social distancing measures will be followed. Participants will be required to wear a mask while participating during the academy.

The academy is free and is open to residents who live or work in Contra Costa County. Individuals must complete an application and background check when they apply. Residents can access an application on our website or residents may also apply in-person at one of our offices at the following locations:

Residents can submit the applications to the attention of Scott Alonso. Applicants may also email with their completed application. The application period ends on September 24, 2021.

The Community Academy will be made up of at least 10 individuals for a 9-week course held at the DA’s Office in downtown Martinez, 900 Ward Street from 5:30-7:30 p.m. every Wednesday starting October 13, 2021. The Community Academy, which is similar to Citizens’ Academies hosted by many law enforcement agencies, is the only academy of its kind at a District Attorney’s Office in Northern California.

The academy helps underscore the office’s commitment to engaging and educating residents of Contra Costa County. Admitted applicants can expect to learn how cases are filed, the different types of crimes our office investigates and prosecutes, and the work we do not only prosecuting cases but also the community outreach efforts underway to prevent crime and to support children, parents and crime victims. The comprehensive overview by our office will allow residents to get an in-depth examination and review of the criminal justice system in our community.

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Antioch man convicted for attempted murder during 2018 drug deal

Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

Faces possible prison sentence of almost 35 years

By Scott Alonso, PIO, Contra Costa County Office of the District Attorney

Earlier this month, defendant Brandon Lamont Lindsey of Antioch (born March 20, 1994) was found guilty as charged for the attempted murder and attempted robbery of a Yuba City man. Further, a Contra Costa County jury found true the enhancements listed in the charges against Lindsey, including the discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury.

Antioch Police believed the incident to be an attempted robbery at the time. (See related article)

On September 21, 2018, Lindsey arranged to sell opioids to the victim and the victim’s partner in Antioch. Specifically, Lindsey told the victim to meet him on Cavallo Road. Before this meeting, the victim and defendant did not know each or other. The drug sale was set up by a mutual friend of the victim. Upon the pair meeting for the first time on Cavallo Road, Lindsey instructed the victim to bring his car down an isolated road for the sale.

Lindsey conveyed to the victim that his associate would bring the pills in a separate car. Moments after the victim moved his car, another car was positioned and blocked the driveway, which prevented the victim from leaving the scene. Lindsey approached the victim and pulled out a firearm and demanded money. Lindsey fired three times inside the car at point blank range. One bullet struck the victim through his left arm causing a partial loss of mobility in his left hand. Lindsey used a 9mm handgun during the attempted murder and attempted robbery.

In total, the jury found Lindsey guilty of four counts:

  • Attempted Murder
    • Enhancement 1, Personal and Intentional Discharge of a Firearm, Causing Great Bodily Injury
  • Shooting at Occupied Motor Vehicle
    • Enhancement 2, Personal and Intentional Discharge of a Firearm, Causing Great Bodily Injury
  • Assault with a Semiautomatic Firearm
    • Enhancement 3, Use of a Firearm
  • Attempted Second Degree Robbery
    • Enhancement 4, Personal and Intentional Discharge of a Firearm, Causing Great Bodily Injury

Deputy District Attorney Kate Dunbar prosecuted the case on behalf of the People. The defendant will be sentenced on October 15 before the Honorable Charles Burch. Lindsey faces up to 34 years and 8 months to life in state prison. The case was investigated by the Antioch Police Department.

Case information: People v. Brandon Lamont Lindsey, Docket Number 05-200113-9.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.


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Public Service Announcement: Tips to avoid rental scams

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

Today, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office is sharing important tips for consumers to avoid rental scams.

What is a rental scam?

Scammers will list properties for rent online (i.e., Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace) even though they do not own them or have authority to rent them out. The scammer will attempt to have a prospective renter wire transfer or demand cash payment for the lease and or deposit, by claiming they can rent it but are not available to show it now.

Different kinds of rental scams

  • Knockoff listings: When searching for properties be on the lookout for listings that have been copied and pasted from a legitimate listing but then offered at a low price.
  • Illegal sublets: A scammer has obtained access to a listed property and begins to show the unit as if the unit is their own property or have authority to rent out.
  • Ghost rentals: Scammers will list properties that are not for rent or do not exist and try to lure a victim in with a promise of low rent and great amenities. Their goal is to get the victims money before they find out.

Identifying scams

  • Scammers will request a wire transfer for a first month’s rent, security deposit, application fees or vacation rental fees if applicable as a wire transfer. Please note, a wire transfer is equivalent to handing over cash.
  • The scammer will request funds prior to signing the lease or viewing the property with the excuse that the property is in high demand, adding an urgency to the transaction. The scammer will claim to have a list of other possible renters who are also interested in the property.
  • Scammer will claim they are out of the country by alleging they have an agent or lawyer working on their behalf.

Tips to avoid rental scams

  • Verify who owns the unit or building. To ensure that the person renting the unit is the legitimate owner or property manager, do an online search or visit the Contra Costa County Recorder’s office. The Contra Costa County Recorder’soffice is located at 555 Escobar St, Martinez CA 94553.
  • Conduct an Internet search using a search engine such as Google or Bing by entering in the listed address, agent or alleged homeowners name, email and phone number. Be suspicious of images that may be generated from Multiple Listing Service (MLS). MLS is a service realtor’s frequently use to list properties for prospective buyers. Scammers will crop and adjust these photos for their own use in fraudulent their ads.
  • Legitimate landlords will arrange a tour of the interior of the property without excuse or hesitation. Before any money is exchanged, the landlord will take in an application to do a background check.
  • Landlords will usually accept a personal check, a cashier’s check or money order for the first month’s rent and security deposit.
  • Never provide an advance payment, money is usually not exchanged until a legitimate lease is signed. Do not agree to pay anything in cash or via wire transfer.
  • Be wary of giving your personal information until you verify the leasing party before any personal information is given.
  • Ask detailed questions about the unit, application and move in dates/process. Scammers do not want to answer detailed questions because they are only after the initial deposit. In doing so they will end communication or ignore the questions or answers will contain strange grammar.
  • If a deal is too good to be true, it usually is!

¿Qué es una estafa de alquiler?

Un estafador enumera propiedades para alquiler en línea (Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc.) aunque no sean dueños de la propiedad ni tengan autoridad para alquilarlas. El estafador intentará enganchar un posible inquilino en que realice una transferencia bancaria o exigir pago en efectivo para el arrendamiento o depósito, aportando que puede y tiene autoridad de alquilarlo, pero no está disponible para mostrarlo en este momento.

Diferentes tipos de estafas de alquiler

  • Listados de imitación: Cuando busque propiedades, esté atento a los listados que se hayan copiado y pegado de un listado legítimo, pero que luego se ofrezcan a un precio bajo.
  • Subarrendamientos ilegales:un estafador ha obtenido acceso a una propiedad que figura en la lista y comienza a mostrarla como si fuera su propia propiedad o tuviera autoridad para alquilarla.
  • Alquilares Inexistentes: el estafador listara listados de las propiedades que no están para alquiler o que no existen y tratará de atraer a la víctima con la promesa de un alquiler bajo y comodidades increibles. El objetivo es de estafar la victima antes de que se enteren que el trato es fraudulento.

Como identificar estafas

Los estafadores solicitarán una transferencia bancaria para el primer mes de el alquiler, depósito de seguridad y otros cobros relacionados con el alquiler. Tenga en cuenta que una transferencia bancaria equivale a entregar dinero en efectivo.

El estafador solicitará fondos antes de firmar el contrato de arrendamiento o antes de poder ver la propiedad con la excusa de que la propiedad tiene gran demanda, agregando una urgencia en la transacción. El estafador afirmará tener una lista de otros posibles inquilinos que también están interesados ​​en la propiedad.

El estafador afirmará que está fuera del país alegando que tiene un agente o abogado trabajando en su nombre.

Consejos para evitar estafas de alquiler

Verifique quién es el propietario de la unidad o el edificio. Para asegurarse de que la persona que alquila la unidad es el propietario legítimo o el administrador de la propiedad, realice una búsqueda en línea o visite las oficinas de registradores del condado. La oficina del registrador del condado de Contra Costa está ubicada en 555 Escobar St, Martinez CA 94553.

Realice una búsqueda por internet utilizando búscador como Google o Bing ingresando la dirección, el correo electrónico, el número de teléfono y el supuesto agente o propietario de la casa que figuran en la lista. Sospeche de las imágenes que puedan generarse a partir de Multiple Listing Service (MLS). MLS es un servicio que agentes de bienes raíces utilizan con frecuencia para publicar propiedades para posibles compradores. Los estafadores recortan y ajustan estas fotos para su propio uso en sus anuncios fraudulentos.

Los propietarios legítimos organizara un recorrido por el interior de la propiedad sin excusa ni vacilación. Antes de que intercambie el dinero, un arrendador legitimo presentará una solicitud para realizar una verificación de antecedentes.

Los propietarios generalmente aceptarán un cheque personal, un cheque de caja o un giro postal por el primer meses de alquiler y depósito de seguridad.

Nunca proporcione un pago por adelantado, el dinero generalmente no se intercambia hasta que se firma un contrato de arrendamiento legítimo. No acepte pagar nada en efectivo o mediante transferencia bancaria.

Tenga cuidado de no dar su información personal a un estafador que pretende tener un contrato de arrendamiento legítimo, asegúrese de verificar la parte del arrendamiento antes de proporcionar cualquier información personal.

Haga preguntas detalladas sobre la unidad, la solicitud, las fechas de mudanza y el proceso de mudanza, etc. Los estafadores no quieren responder a preguntas detalladas porque están de tras del depósito inicial. Al hacerlo, terminarán la comunicación, ignorarán las preguntas o las respuestas contendrán gramática extraña.

Si un trato es demasiado bueno para ser verdad, ¡por lo general lo es!



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Former Contra Costa Clerk-Recorder Joe Canciamilla pleads guilty to 9 counts

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

Will serve one year in county jail

By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County Office of the District Attorney

Joe Canciamilla

Martinez, Calif. – Yesterday, Monday, July 12, 2021, former Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder Joe Canciamilla pled guilty to perjury and grand theft, totaling nine counts, for illegal activity tied to his multiple political campaign bank accounts. The District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against Canciamilla last year. Canciamilla resigned in 2019.

Canciamilla will serve 365 days in county jail per his guilty plea. Per the court, the Sheriff’s Office will determine how the custody time will be served. In addition, he was sentenced to two years formal probation by the Honorable Leslie G. Landu.  Due to his felony conviction, Canciamilla will not be able to act as an attorney and he will report his criminal conviction to the California State Bar. Further, he may no longer hold public office or any other elected office.

Canciamilla committed felony perjury for his misstatements on campaign disclosure statements (Form 460s). Canciamilla signed these campaign finance statements under the penalty of perjury. The illegal activity was conducted from 2010 to 2016. The grand theft counts against Canciamilla related to the use of campaign funds for his personal use.

The personal expenditures made by Canciamilla’s campaign committees for his own personal use were:

  • Personal vacation to Asia
  • Restaurants
  • Airfare via Southwest Airlines and American Airlines
  • Repayment of a Personal Loan
  • Transfers from his Campaign Bank Accounts to his Personal Accounts

In 2019, Canciamilla was fined $150,000 by the California Fair Political Practices Commission in a civil stipulation for his inaccurate campaign finance statements, which concealed the personal use of campaign funds for his own benefit.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Steven Bolen. DDA Bolen is assigned to our Office’s Public Corruption Unit.

Case information: People v. Joseph Canciamilla, Docket Number 01-193934-7.

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Contra Costa, three other county DA’s to finalize $400,000 settlement with MoviePass affiliated executives for unlawful Business Practices

Monday, June 7th, 2021

Following 2018 complaint filed by Contra Costa County resident with California Attorney General’s Office.

By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County Office of the District Attorney

Martinez, Calif. – On May 20, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with the District Attorneys’ Offices of Ventura, Sonoma, and San Joaquin Counties, entered into a negotiated settlement agreement with former MoviePass affiliated executives, Theodore Farnsworth and Mitchell Lowe, for engaging in numerous unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business acts and practices, while overseeing the operations of the now defunct movie theater subscription service. CCCDA MoviePass Documents

In total, Farnsworth and Lowe will have to pay $400,000 in civil penalties and cy pres restitution, as part of the signed Stipulated Judgment approved by the Honorable Nancy Davis Stark. In addition to the monetary payments, Farnsworth and Lowe are enjoined from engaging in any of the alleged unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business acts or practices committed during their tenure as MoviePass managers. The settlement gets divided by all the DA’s involved and some goes to the state. The DA’s then use the monies for consumer protection activities.

MoviePass, Inc. (MoviePass) was an American subscription-based movie ticket service headquarter in New York City. Founded in 2011, the service initially allowed subscribers to purchase up to three movie tickets per month for a discounted monthly fee. The service utilized a mobile phone app where users checked into a theater and chose a movie and showtime, which resulted in the cost of the ticket being loaded by MoviePass to a prepaid MoviePass debit card, which was then used to purchase the ticket from the movie theater.

In 2017, Helios and Matheson Analytics purchased MoviePass. Around the time of the purchase, the business model for MoviePass, shifted from a three movie per month subscription to offering, among other things, an “unlimited” subscription plan at $9.95 a month and an “unlimited” fixed rate annual subscription. However, over the course of the next two years, the business model and terms of service changed multiple times to the detriment of the consumers.
After the acquisition of MoviePass by Helios and Matheson Analytics, the Defendants engaged in numerous unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent acts and practices. These acts and practices include, but are not limited to:

• Falsely advertising that MoviePass subscriptions offer “unlimited” movie watching. Specifically, “any movie”, “any day”, at “any theater”, when in reality MoviePass continually added limitations to customers’ subscriptions.
• Unconscionably changing terms of service during a subscription period.
• Converting all prepaid “unlimited” plans to three movies per month.
• Shutting down the availability of movies when a certain dollar amount is reached. (Trip wire).
• Failing to notify autorenewal customers of material changes to their subscriptions.
• Continuously charging customers’ debit or credit cards after receiving notice of cancellation from customers.

In addition to the above acts and practices, in 2019, MoviePass suffered a data breach. The data breach was the result of a MoviePass engineer creating an unsecured and unencrypted server as a debugging tool. This server had more than 161 million pieces of personal identifying information, including names, MoviePass card numbers, credit card numbers, billing information, email addresses and login information, belonging to at least 58,000 consumers. Despite being notified by private individuals, MoviePass allowed this server to operate for three months before it was taken down. MoviePass failed to advise the California Attorney General’s Office of the data breach, as required by law.

MoviePass shut down its operations in September of 2019. Both MoviePass and its parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in January of 2020.

In 2018 a local Contra Costa County resident filed a complaint against MoviePass with the California Attorney General’s Office. The complaint alleged that MoviePass was in violation of the Terms of Service as the company was not showing available tickets in the mobile app and limited the number of movies to the consumer even though they paid in advance for a year of “unlimited” service. In turn, the complaint was forwarded to our office for further investigation.

We welcome residents to file consumer complaints with our office via our website, Case information: People v. Theodore Farnsworth and Mitchell Lowe, Docket C21-01045, Contra Costa County Superior Court.

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Tulare couple sentenced for 2019 road rage murder of Oakland man in Antioch

Friday, March 26th, 2021

Defendants Tearri Richard and Lakia Poles. Photos by APD

Life in prison for him, 25 years to life in prison for her

Antioch Police forensic artist’s sketch helped lead to their arrest

By Allen Payton

Homicide Case Update: Defendants Tearri Richard and Lakia Poles were sentenced on Friday, March 26, 2021 in Contra Costa County Superior Court for the road rage murder of 57-year-old Oakland resident Raul Garcia in Antioch on Sept. 1, 2019. (See related articles here, here, here and here)

Defendant Richard was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole and defendant Poles was sentenced to 25 years to life. Both defendants were age 26 at the time of the murder and will serve their time in state prison. DDA Aron DeFerrari prosecuted the case on behalf of the People.

“Raul Garcia, the man Tearri Richard and Lakia Poles viciously murdered over a traffic dispute, received justice today,” said DDA DeFerrari. “It is unfathomable that a man’s life could be taken over disagreement about a lane merger that didn’t even result in a collision, yet defendants Richard and Poles hunted Raul Garcia down in the street and killed him for something that trivial; they both deserve the life sentences they were given.”

“The justice achieved today was only possible due to the outstanding investigation by the Antioch Police Department and their top-notch Detective Division,” he added.

APD forensic artist, Detective Joeng and sketch of Tearri Richard. Source: APD

On their Facebook page on Sunday, March 21 the Antioch Police Department posted praise for their sketch artist that helped lead to the couple’s arrest:

“On September 1, 2019, Raul Garcia was murdered after a road rage incident in Antioch. Members of the APD Investigations Bureau began investigating the case and learned of a witness to the incident. Detective Jeong (who is a forensic sketch artist) met with the witness and developed a sketch of the suspect. In the following weeks, detectives obtained additional evidence which led to the arrest of Tearri Richard and Lakia Poles. On November 24, 2020, a jury found both Richard and Poles guilty of murder. Last week, Richard was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, and Poles was sentenced to 25-years-to-life. As you can see, Detective Jeong has a special talent in the field of forensic sketches, and we are very lucky he is a member of our team.

The Antioch Police Department will not tolerate violent crime in our city and works hard to achieve justice. We do this not just for our community, but also in memory of those who are lost to senseless violence. We are grateful to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, especially Deputy District Attorney Aron DeFerrari, for his tireless prosecution of this case.

On behalf of the men and women of APD, we express our condolences to the Garcia family.”

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