Plea Deal in Triple Homicide Shot Down in Clear Rebuke of Progressive DA 

A choose gave Alameda County’s new chief prosecutor a transparent rebuke by rejecting a controversial plea deal her workplace prolonged to a person accused of killing three individuals a month after his 18th birthday.

Reflecting the progressive agenda of District Legal professional Pamela Value and seized upon by critics calling for her ouster, the supply amounted to this: Prosecutors would drop three homicide costs towards Delonzo Logwood for the 2008 killings if he pleads no contest to a single cost of manslaughter.

However the court docket shot it down Thursday, letting the homicide counts stand.

Alameda County Superior Courtroom Decide Mark McCannon, who issued the ruling, mentioned he misplaced sleep over the plea cut price he derided as having little to no advantage. With the lead prosecutor immediately quitting and the brand new legal professional unfamiliar with the the case, there was nobody in court docket Thursday to argue in any other case. 

The choose famous, too, that the DA didn’t current a case for its personal plea cut price. 

“I normally don’t get entangled in plea offers,” McCannon mentioned. “A jury ought to determine if he’s responsible or harmless. I’m not right here to do what’s widespread, however to do what is correct.” 

Logwood, 32, has been locked up in state jail since 2009 for his convictions of armed theft and assault with a weapon. 

The three homicide costs he’s now preventing stem from a trio of killings in Oakland 15 years in the past involving a murder-for-hire, a carjacking and an effort to silence a witness. The prosecution constructed a lot of the case towards Logwood on the account of a cooperative witness and recorded jail cellphone calls. 

Thursday’s ruling comes as prosecutors proceed to resign from the Value administration, together with the lawyer on the Logwood case who was absent from the listening to. In the meantime, households of the victims are becoming a member of the refrain to recall Value, which might shut the door on a reform undertaking simply barely underway—simply because it was for San Francisco’s reformist DA Chesa Boudin.

It’s laborious to keep away from evaluating Value to Boudin. Each took workplace simply as public assist for his or her model of prison justice reform started to wane and fears about crime started to rise. Voters recalled Boudin, clearing the best way for Brooke Jenkins and a return to the “robust on crime” philosophy historically espoused by prime prosecutors. 

It stays to be seen if the same destiny awaits Value—or if she manages to chart a course across the political fallout that introduced an early finish to Boudin’s time period throughout the bay.  

Value and her workplace declined The Customary’s request for remark in court docket Thursday and gave the choose no rationale for the plea supply as a result of the brand new legal professional within the prosecutor’s chair wanted to rise up to hurry after his predecessor’s abrupt resignation.

However the rationale was defined after the actual fact in a ready assertion posted to the DA’s web site.

“Once we reviewed the case, we felt that the trauma inflicted on the survivors, the defendant and his household, the court docket system and my workers by my predecessor’s failure to promptly resolve the case was unacceptable,” it learn. “We’re very dissatisfied that Decide McCannon didn’t settle for the plea cut price beforehand agreed upon by my workplace and protection counsel.”

One among Logwood’s attorneys mentioned she’s dissatisfied however unsurprised by the ruling.

“This was a simply plea,” Linda Fullerton mentioned. 

However others applauded the ruling. 

A letter penned by relations of two of the victims and skim in court docket by their advocate conveyed clear disdain for the plea deal.

“If this man will get out and kills once more,” it learn, “the blood shall be in your palms, DA Value.”

Logwood, who appeared in court docket, was described by his second legal professional David Briggs as a younger man from an unstable house who’s now attempting to stroll the straight path.

Logwood grew up along with his mom biking out and in of jail, Briggs mentioned. So Logwood typically went alongside along with his older brother, who acted as courier for his or her mom, the lawyer continued. Logwood’s formal schooling resulted in seventh grade when he dropped out of college and fell into drug-dealing and crime. 

Briggs additionally mentioned the case towards his shopper was riddled with points and that the plea deal provided a simply decision. 

After Briggs concluded his argument to the choose, Logwood provided a mea culpa in a last-ditch effort to persuade the choose to simply accept the plea deal.

“I need to apologize for my conduct,” Logwood mentioned. “I additionally need to apologize for all of the destruction I’ve brought on.” 

Decide McCannon was apparently unmoved, mentioning how the defendant uncared for to say why he’s apologizing.

“You assume that an apology will make all of this higher?” the choose requested. “You’ve mentioned that you simply’re sorry, however what are you sorry for?”

Logwood is predicted again in court docket April 5 to set a date for his trial.

Jonah Owen Lamb may be reached at [email protected]