Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Alameda County prosecutors unveiled a streamlined list of 15 charges against the three ex-cops accused of misconduct in the “Riders” case. “We will get to focus on what this case is really about: beating suspects while handcuffed, falsifying police reports and planting evidence,” Deputy District Attorney Terry Wiley said after a Tuesday hearing. Defense attorneys countered that prosecution would encounter the same witness-credibility problems that allowed their clients to go free after the first trial ended in September. “Here we go again,” said lead defense attorney Michael Rains. “It’s the same show. It’s the same case.” Prosecutors are preparing to retry three fired Oakland police officers who are accused of using illegal tactics to combat street crime in West Oakland in 2000. Defense attorneys argued their clients — Jude Siapno, Clarence Mabanag and Matthew Hornung — were simply following orders from police brass. They also argued that the prosecution relied on testimony from a failed rookie police officer and witnesses with rap sheets. The original case had 26 counts, which encompassed 35 individual crimes. In September, a jury acquitted the ex-officers of eight crimes and hung on the remaining 27 allegations. On Tuesday, Wiley said that for the second trial, the ex-cops would be charged with 15 felony counts, including one obstruction-of-justice charge against all three officers. Prosecutors tweaked the case by dropping allegations that the former officers conspired to falsely arrest suspects. However, they kept in an allegation that the ex-cops conspired to obstruct justice. Prosecutors added an allegation that Siapno falsely arrested Matthew Watson, a suspected drug dealer whom Siapno allegedly took under a freeway overpass and brutalized. Watson was killed during a carjacking this year. According to William Rapoport, Siapno’s attorney, he requested that the jury consider false imprisonment, a lesser offense, in lieu of kidnapping. At the end of the first trial, the jury acquitted Siapno of kidnapping but hung on false imprisonment. Since the jury deadlocked on false imprisonment, the DA decided to add it to the amended list of charges, Rapoport said. Wiley says the revised charges �� particularly leaving out the false arrest-conspiracy charges ��will make the case easier for jurors to understand. “Many of the jurors said that they found that confusing,” Wiley said. On the other hand, prosecutors kept the conspiracy-to-obstruct-justice count because the jury hung 7-5 to convict on that count, Wiley said. The prosecution will take steps to ensure that the second trial is shorter than the first one, which took more than a year and was the longest criminal trial in the county’s history. Wiley predicted that it would take him eight weeks to put on the prosecution’s case. During the first trial, prosecutor David Hollister took five months to put on 45 witnesses, he said. “You are going to see a more focused case,” he said. Defense attorneys say that Wiley has drastically underestimated how long the case will take. The eight-week estimate “does not account for cross-examination, motions, it does not account for a lot of things,” Rapoport said. Plus, it will take time for Wiley to put on key witnesses, such as former Oakland rookie cop Keith Batt, who will take at least a week and a half to testify, Rains said. Defense attorneys said their case will take two or three months and largely depends on which witnesses Wiley chooses to call. During the first trial the defense put on between 30 and 40 witnesses. Defense attorneys also disputed how long it took Hollister to put on his case. They say the prosecutor took seven months and called 70 witnesses. The defendants will be arraigned Feb. 10.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.