No Immediate Decision Made By Judge On Barry Bonds Case
A federal judge in San Francisco heard 30 minutes of arguments but made no immediate decision Thursday on whether to overturn the obstruction-of-justice conviction of home-run champion Barry Bonds.
The obstruction charge is the only count on which the former San Francisco Giants outfielder was convicted by a jury in Illston's court after a three-week trial in March and April.
The jury deadlocked on three other charges that Bonds lied in 2003 testimony before a federal grand jury investigating steroids distribution by the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO.
Prosecutors haven't announced whether they will retry Bonds on those charges, nor have they said when they will reveal their decision.
The obstruction conviction was for giving evasive testimony to the 2003 grand jury in answer to a prosecutor's question about whether Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, ever gave him "anything that required a syringe to inject yourself with."
The three other counts in which Bonds was accused of lying to the grand jury concerned answers to slightly different questions.
In those responses, Bonds denied he had ever been injected by Anderson and that he had ever knowingly taken steroids or human growth hormone.
Oakland Mayor Spoke Out Against Crime-Fighting Proposals
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan Thursday spoke out against crime-fighting proposals suggested by Police Chief Anthony Batts and city council members Larry Reid and Ignacio De La Fuente.
Batts has long favored imposing curfews for teenagers and injunctions against gangs and Reid and De La Fuente have also strongly supported those measures in the wake of a drive-by shooting that claimed the life of 3-year-old Carlos Nava in East Oakland on Aug. 8.
But Quan said Thursday that she does not think a youth curfew would be an effective crime-fighting tool, as the two suspects in the fatal shooting of Carlos are both in their 20s and the suspects in other recent homicides in the city also are over the age of 18.
Quan said she favors a loitering ordinance instead of a youth curfew, saying she thinks there would be fewer civil rights issues with such an ordinance.
The mayor also said she does not support injunctions against gangs, saying she prefers injunctions against individuals who are deemed to be dangerous instead of injunctions against large groups of people.
Oakland won an injunction against the Norteno gang in the city's Fruitvale District in June and won an injunction against the North Side Oakland gang last year.
When the City Council meets again in September, Reid and De La Fuente will ask the council to support seeking injunctions against gangs in other parts of the city as well.
Police Arrest Third Suspect In Connection With Attempted Robbery Of Armored Car
Police arrested a third suspect Wednesday night in connection with an attempted robbery of an armored car in Pinole that led to a shootout between the suspects and a security guard.
William Fuller, 30, was arrested at about 8 p.m. and is alleged to have driven the vehicle used in the robbery, police said.
He has been booked into county jail on suspicion of murder, two counts of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit a felony and robbery, police said.
The incident began shortly after 9:15 a.m. at the Wells Fargo bank at 1374 Fitzgerald Drive.
A guard of a Loomis armored vehicle was leaving the bank with a bag of cash when two men assaulted her and attempted to rob her, police said.
The guard resisted and the group began shooting at each other, police said. The guard and both suspects were injured.
The guard was taken to a hospital, where she was in serious but stable condition Thursday, police said.
The two suspects attempted to flee, but police caught up to one of them, identified as 25-year-old San Pablo resident Pierre Daniel, on Fitzgerald Drive near the bank.
Officers allegedly ordered him not to reach for a gun, but he reached for it anyway and an officer shot him, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
During the confrontation, Pinole police Officer Brian "Justin" Takacs was shot in his left shoulder, police said.
Takacs was scheduled for surgery Thursday afternoon and is expected to recover from his injuries.
While police were investigating the shootings near the bank, Pierre Daniel's brother Freddie Daniel, 24, of San Pablo, was dropped off at a local hospital with a gunshot wound.
Freddie Daniel has undergone surgery, but remained in critical condition Thursday. He is facing the same charges as Fuller.
Law Enforcement Authorities Arrested Four Suspects In Connection With Fremont Robberies
Law enforcement authorities arrested four suspects in Newark Thursday morning in connection with a string of Fremont robberies, a Fremont police detective said.
One suspect remains at large.
The suspects were taken into custody after search warrants and arrest warrants were served in Newark Thursday morning through the combined efforts of the Newark, Milpitas, Fremont, Union City, and San Leandro police departments, Detective Bill Veteran said.
Details about the arrests and the suspects were not being disclosed by police, Veteran said.
Northern California Congressment Hosted Forum On Job Creation And Export Of American-Made Goods
Three Northern California congressmen hosted a forum Thursday in Walnut Creek for local entrepreneurs to discuss efforts to create jobs and promote the international export of American-made goods.
Thursday's "Export to the World" forum was directed by Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Creek, George Miller, D-Martinez, and Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, and was part of a nationwide export tour by President Obama's Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sanchez.
On the tour, Sanchez aims to highlight opportunities for businesses to grow the economy by expanding exports and creating jobs. Part of that effort involves leveraging public-private partnerships to encourage investment and growth.
The congressmen are also all strongly in favor of proposed legislation related to the Democrats' "Make it in America" agenda, an initiative that aims to rebuild the country's manufacturing sector.
Investments in education and energy innovation are key components of the agenda, and legislation has already been passed to end tax loopholes that encourage companies to move jobs overseas, to expedite the patent process, and to cut taxes and create loans for small businesses.
Castro Valley Man Refuses To Vacate Home, Taken Down By K-9
A Castro Valley man who refused to vacate his mobile home when faced with eviction Thursday afternoon was taken down cursing by a sheriff's K-9, ending an hour-long standoff with law enforcement.
The proprietor of the Tra-Tel Trailer Park in the 3700 block of Castro Valley Road attempted to serve an eviction notice to one of her tenants, but, according to Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson, the man holed himself up in his trailer with what the landlady believed was a shotgun.
The woman called the sheriff's office at about 1 p.m., and deputies responded, establishing a perimeter and evacuating approximately 20 residents and guests who were home at the time.
Deputies attempted to contact the man, Fred Murphy, 54, by placing calls to a phone inside the trailer. When there was no response they resorted to a patrol car loud speaker, but to no avail, Nelson said.
Murphy opened the trailer's main door and a screen door, and he stepped partially outside, flipped off the deputies, and allegedly said "F--- you guys!" before stepping back inside, Nelson said.
Although the screen door had closed, Murphy did not close the main door before sheriff's K-9 Bo busted through the screen and began biting Murphy, Nelson said.
Nelson said that Murphy was arrested on suspicion of making threats against the landlady and brandishing a replica weapon, which authorities determined was a pellet rifle.
Man Arrested After Running From Police
A man was arrested after allegedly running from his car after being pulled over by an off-duty San Francisco police officer on a U.S. Highway 101 off-ramp in Sausalito on Wednesday night, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The incident started around 10:45 p.m. on the Spencer Avenue off-ramp from northbound Highway 101.
The off-duty police officer saw a 1996 Kia sport utility vehicle driving north on Highway 101 and its driver appeared to be intoxicated, the CHP said.
As the vehicle exited the highway at Spencer Avenue, the officer, who was driving an unmarked police vehicle, pulled behind the Kia and tried to contact the driver. But when the officer got out of his vehicle, the driver ran away toward downtown Sausalito, according to the CHP.
The officer held a 31-year-old passenger in the car at gunpoint until CHP officers arrived.
Investigators identified the driver as 43-year-old David Ray Wright, who was eventually spotted by Sausalito police at a bus stop on Spencer Avenue at 4 a.m. Thursday.
CHP officers were called to the area and observed that Wright showed signs of intoxication, leading them to conclude that he had indeed been driving under the influence when he was pulled over on the off-ramp hours earlier, CHP Officer Chris Rardin said.
Wright was arrested and booked into Marin County jail on suspicion of DUI and evading arrest. He was booked on suspicion of felony DUI because he has at least three prior DUI convictions, Rardin said.
The 31-year-old passenger of the Kia was released after cooperating with officers.
Oakland-Based Teen Rock Group PopLyfe Makes It To "America's Got Talent" Finals
The Oakland-based teen rocker group PopLyfe has traveled a long way in the four years since the group formed as a jam session in an Oakland living room.
After nailing their performance on "America's Got Talent" on Tuesday night, a performance that clinched them a spot in the show's finals, the group is flying into Oakland Thursday evening for a home visit, according to Oakland Vice Mayor Desley Brooks.
Fans, family and friends planned to gather at Oakland International Airport's Terminal 2 to greet the musicians with signs and cheers in a show of support.
PopLyfe has eight members -- keyboardist Dylan Wiggins, 13, drummer Denzel Merrit, 12, lead vocalist KehLani Parrish, 13, saxophonist Ranzel Merrit, 15, bassist Jaden Wiggins, 11, turntablist Ali-Khan Lochin, 15, and guitarist Dillion Ingrem, 13.
These rockers may be young, but they are already learning from some of the best in the business.
The group's eight members are being groomed by Grammy Award winner D'Wayne Wiggins, their producer and mentor who also worked in the same capacity for Destiny's Child and Keyshia Cole.
Brooks said that she and the father of two of the children in the ensemble helped the group gain exposure by offering the group stage opportunities at the Arroyo Viejo Parks Summer Series Concerts.
Brooks also said that she hopes the group will continue to gain exposure through the support of the community.
"We really want people to watch the show and vote afterward in the finals," she said.
A celebration for the artists will be held Thursday evening at Everett & Jones Barbeque in Oakland's Jack London Square, Brooks said.
PopLyfe draws on Oakland's rich musical legacy, which includes artists such as En Vogue, MC Hammer, Tony Toni Tone and Too Short.
Woman Attacks San Francisco Department Of Parking And Traffic Officer
A woman attacked a San Francisco Department of Parking and Traffic officer who gave her a parking ticket in the city's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood Wednesday evening, a police lieutenant said Thursday.
The attack was reported at about 5:50 p.m. in the 1500 block of Haight Street.
An altercation ensued after the parking officer wrote the woman a parking ticket, according to Lt. Belinda Kerr from the Police Department's Park Station.
The woman reached into the DPT vehicle and threw items out of the vehicle, Kerr said.
"When the DPT person tried to stop her, there was a little bit of a tussle and he got hit," she said. "We don't know if it was intentional."
The suspect, described as an Asian woman between 18 and 25 years old, fled in the car and was not found despite an extensive search, Kerr said.
Police have the license plate number of the vehicle, but its registered owner is not believed to be the suspect, she said.
The officer was not injured in the incident.
Sausalito Police Report That Three Cars Were Broken Into Over A Three-Day Period
Sausalito police said three locked vehicles were broken into over a three-day period this week.
Property stolen from the vehicles was in plain view, and in two cases, the suspect smashed a side window to get in the vehicles, Lt. Kurtis Skoog said.
The third vehicle's side window was missing from a previous burglary in another jurisdiction and the suspect reached in and unlocked the door, Skoog said.
A vehicle burglary occurred during the daytime on Aug. 19 in the 800 block of Bridgeway, Skoog said.
The other two burglaries occurred overnight on Aug. 22 and 23 in the 200 block of Glen Drive and on Wray Avenue, Skoog said.
Oakland's New Public Safety Radio Communications System Still Has Problems
Oakland's highly-touted new public safety radio communications system is still having problems, more than two months after it began operating, City Administrator Deanna Santana said Thursday.
At a briefing at City Hall, Santana said, "For achieving normalcy, we're not there yet."
When the new system began operating on June 5, Mayor Jean Quan said it had already been tested for a month.
But Santana said Thursday the city anticipated an implementation period of 90 to 120 days to work out any technical issues that arise from the development of new technology and the city is still in that implementation mode.
Oakland officials say the new system offers more streamlined communications operations for police officers and firefighters in the field and fewer dead spots than the old and outdated system it replaced.
The new system complies with national standards for digital radio communications, which are called Project 25, or P25 for short. The previous system was analog.
Oakland is the first city in the Bay Area to be fully compliant with P25 standards. The new system cost about $18 million but it was paid for by federal funds.
California Supreme Court Unanimously Upheld Berkeley Man's Death Penalty
The California Supreme Court Thursday unanimously upheld the death penalty of a Berkeley man who fatally shot his sister and her son after a series of arguments.
Erven Blacksher, now 46, was convicted in Alameda County Superior Court in 1998 of the first-degree murder of his nephew, Torey Lee, 21, and the second-degree murder of his sister, Versenia Lee, 46, on May 11, 1995.
He was sentenced to death the following year on the basis of a jury finding of a special circumstance of multiple murders.
The victims were living at the home of Blacksher's and Lee's mother, Eva Blacksher, in West Berkeley.
Erven Blacksher, the youngest of eight siblings, had moved to a back cottage on the property to enable his sister to live in the house while taking care of their mother.
According to testimony at the trial, the early-morning shootings came after several days of arguments between Blacksher and his nephew.
Blacksher, who had previously been hospitalized several times for episodes of mental illness, argued at the guilt phase of his trial that he lacked the ability to form an intent to murder because he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.
He also argued in a separate sanity phase of trial that he was insane at the time of the shootings. But the jury rejected both those arguments.
In Thursday's decision, issued in San Francisco and written by Justice Carol Corrigan, the state high court rejected a series of appeal claims in which Blacksher challenged evidence rulings and jury instructions at his trial.
Man Fatally Shot In East Oakland Early Tuesday
A man who was fatally shot in East Oakland early Tuesday was identified Thursday as 18-year-old Evan Chapman of Oakland after someone recognized him from photos of his tattoos and called police, authorities said.
Chapman was found shot to death in the 1800 block of 79th Avenue in Oakland, near Arroyo Viejo Park, shortly after midnight Tuesday after police received reports that there had been a shooting.
Oakland police have not released any information about a suspect or a motive in the case.
Police asked for the public's help in identifying Chapman because they were not able to immediately identify him.
Police released photos of Chapman with stars on his right forearm and the name "Theresa" tattooed on his left forearm.
San Francisco Bay Area Weather Forecast
The Bay Area is expected to be mostly cloudy with patchy fog and drizzle this morning before becoming mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s are likely.
Mostly clear skies are expected this evening, with patchy fog after midnight, becoming mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s are likely.
Mostly cloudy skies are expected Saturday becoming partly cloudy with patchy fog in the morning. Forecasters predict highs in the 60s to lower 70s.
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