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Hall trial: Jury deadlocks on manslaughter, convicts Danville deputy of assault

Partial guilty verdict for officer in 2018 fatal shooting of Laudemer Arboleda

Veronica Benjamin (right), co-founder of Conscious Contra Costa, hugs Laudemer Arboleda’s mother, Jeannie Atienza, outside the District Attorney's Office in Martinez on Oct. 26. (Photo by Harika Maddala/Bay City News)

A Contra Costa County jury found sheriff's Deputy Andrew Hall guilty Tuesday of assault with a firearm but deadlocked on the charge of voluntary manslaughter for the officer's actions in fatally shooting Laudemer Arboleda at the end of a slow-speed police pursuit in downtown Danville in 2018.

Andrew Hall. (Photo by Harika Maddala/Bay City News)

Hall faces up to 17 years in prison for his felony assault conviction -- which also precludes him from working as a sworn law enforcement officer.

Hall, a Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office deputy assigned to the Danville Police Department, shot Arboleda nine times as the 33-year-old Newark man weaved his car through a police vehicle barricade at 6 mph in downtown Danville on Nov. 3, 2018.

Prosecutors argued Hall used excessive force in shooting at Arboleda, whom family says was experiencing a mental health crisis at the time. The defense contended the deputy fired his service weapon in self-defense, fearing for his life.

With the jury unable to reach a verdict on voluntary manslaughter, Judge Terri Mockler declared a mistrial as to that count on Tuesday afternoon. Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton said her office would review the case and determine whether they want to pursue retrying the manslaughter charge.

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"Today's guilty verdict holds accountable defendant Andrew Hall for his excessive use of force in the fatal shooting of Laudemer Arboleda," Becton said in a statement. "Deputy Hall's actions were not only a crime, but they tarnished the badge and they harmed the reputation of all the good, hard working police officers that work for our community."

"With regards to the voluntary manslaughter count, we will take the matter under review to determine the appropriate next steps," she added.

Defense attorney Harry Stern talks about the verdict in the killing of Laudemer Arboleda on Oct. 26. Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Hall was found guilty of assault with a firearm in the case. The jury was hung on manslaughter charge. (Photo by Harika Maddala/Bay City News)

Hall's attorney Harry Stern said afterward he would likely appeal the assault conviction.

"We're going to be looking at that very closely," Stern said. "It's really a sad day for Andrew Hall."

Prosecutors left the Martinez courtroom without comment, heading back to their office with Arboleda's family. The D.A. Office can retry the case; Mockler set a Jan. 14 court date for a new trial motion.

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Adante Pointer, one of the attorneys representing Arboleda's family in a civil suit, called the outcome "partial justice."

"But it was a big step towards holding Andrew Hall responsible and accountable for needlessly taking this young man's life," Pointer said. "But the fight isn't over. While the family is happy that he's finally being (held) criminally responsible for what he did in destroying this young man's life, we still feel there's more justice to be had."

Arboleda family attorney Adante Pointer speaks following the verdict convicting Danville officer Andrew Hall for assault with a firearm in the killing of Laudemer Arboleda, at the District Attorney’s Office in Martinez on Oct. 26. (Photo by Harika Maddala/Bay City News)

Pointer said a police officer had never been held criminally accountable for shooting someone on duty in Contra Costa County until Tuesday.

Hall was involved in another fatal shooting in Danville in March 2021, when he killed 32-year-old transient Tyrell Wilson near the Sycamore Valley Road overpass of Interstate 680.

Hall shot Wilson one time after a brief verbal exchange with Wilson holding a knife on March 11, according to video footage released of the incident. Wilson died from his injuries at a local hospital on March 17.

Mockler ruled last month the Wilson encounter could not be used against Hall during the trial in Arboleda's death. Authorities are still investigating the Wilson shooting, and no charges have been filed.

"That's an officer who should be never walking the streets, disrespecting the badge and terrorizing the community," Pointer said.

Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston, whose office cleared Hall of wrongdoing and authorized his return to duty after Arboleda's death, reacted to his deputy's assault conviction in a statement Tuesday afternoon that also criticized his fellow elected law-and-order official.

"Although I wish the jury had returned a not-guilty verdict on all counts, I respect their service. We ask our officers to make split-second decisions and many of the jurors understood that," Livingston said. "I urge DA Becton not to retry this case. I also urge her to take down the posts on her reelection campaign social media where she touts this prosecution."

Stern said the jury favored acquitting Hall of the manslaughter charge, 7-5, when the hung jury was called. He said his team will look closely at some legal issues that came up during the trial, including instructions given to the jury.

"I am grateful that seven jurors were convinced he was not guilty," Stern said.

Arboleda led Danville police on a slow speed pursuit in 2018, after someone called police in response to the Newark man knocking on their door. Arboleda pulled over multiple times, only to drive away from police. At one point, they drew their guns without shooting, as Arboleda drove away.

Hall was only involved at the very end, when he pulled in front of Arboleda at the corner of Front and Diablo streets. He exited his car and stood near the Honda's front right side.

As Arboleda tried pulling away at 6 mph, Hall discharged his weapon 10 times, hitting Arboleda with nine. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Arboleda's death was the first police shooting in the town of Danville since 2001 at the time, and Wilson's death -- which also involved Hall -- was the only other Danville police shooting of any kind in the interim.

"Police officers are tasked with upholding laws and protecting people. A loss of life resulting from a police response is unfortunate and tragic. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s the last outcome that anyone wants to see. Our thoughts are with Mr. Arboleda’s family for the loss that they have suffered," Nicola Shihab, Danville's town public information officer, said in a statement after the Hall verdict.

"Ultimately this case was presented to and tried before a jury of our peers," Shihab added. "These proceedings were open and transparent -- the public had the opportunity to hear all of the information and testimony that was presented to and considered by the jury. That jury has now rendered a verdict. We respect the process and the outcome."

Editor's note: Bay City News Service portions of the article written by Tony Hicks of the BCN Foundation. DanvilleSanRamon.com reporter Jeanita Lyman contributed to this story.

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Hall trial: Jury deadlocks on manslaughter, convicts Danville deputy of assault

Partial guilty verdict for officer in 2018 fatal shooting of Laudemer Arboleda

by /

Uploaded: Tue, Oct 26, 2021, 3:56 pm
Updated: Tue, Oct 26, 2021, 9:54 pm

A Contra Costa County jury found sheriff's Deputy Andrew Hall guilty Tuesday of assault with a firearm but deadlocked on the charge of voluntary manslaughter for the officer's actions in fatally shooting Laudemer Arboleda at the end of a slow-speed police pursuit in downtown Danville in 2018.

Hall faces up to 17 years in prison for his felony assault conviction -- which also precludes him from working as a sworn law enforcement officer.

Hall, a Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office deputy assigned to the Danville Police Department, shot Arboleda nine times as the 33-year-old Newark man weaved his car through a police vehicle barricade at 6 mph in downtown Danville on Nov. 3, 2018.

Prosecutors argued Hall used excessive force in shooting at Arboleda, whom family says was experiencing a mental health crisis at the time. The defense contended the deputy fired his service weapon in self-defense, fearing for his life.

With the jury unable to reach a verdict on voluntary manslaughter, Judge Terri Mockler declared a mistrial as to that count on Tuesday afternoon. Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton said her office would review the case and determine whether they want to pursue retrying the manslaughter charge.

"Today's guilty verdict holds accountable defendant Andrew Hall for his excessive use of force in the fatal shooting of Laudemer Arboleda," Becton said in a statement. "Deputy Hall's actions were not only a crime, but they tarnished the badge and they harmed the reputation of all the good, hard working police officers that work for our community."

"With regards to the voluntary manslaughter count, we will take the matter under review to determine the appropriate next steps," she added.

Hall's attorney Harry Stern said afterward he would likely appeal the assault conviction.

"We're going to be looking at that very closely," Stern said. "It's really a sad day for Andrew Hall."

Prosecutors left the Martinez courtroom without comment, heading back to their office with Arboleda's family. The D.A. Office can retry the case; Mockler set a Jan. 14 court date for a new trial motion.

Adante Pointer, one of the attorneys representing Arboleda's family in a civil suit, called the outcome "partial justice."

"But it was a big step towards holding Andrew Hall responsible and accountable for needlessly taking this young man's life," Pointer said. "But the fight isn't over. While the family is happy that he's finally being (held) criminally responsible for what he did in destroying this young man's life, we still feel there's more justice to be had."

Pointer said a police officer had never been held criminally accountable for shooting someone on duty in Contra Costa County until Tuesday.

Hall was involved in another fatal shooting in Danville in March 2021, when he killed 32-year-old transient Tyrell Wilson near the Sycamore Valley Road overpass of Interstate 680.

Hall shot Wilson one time after a brief verbal exchange with Wilson holding a knife on March 11, according to video footage released of the incident. Wilson died from his injuries at a local hospital on March 17.

Mockler ruled last month the Wilson encounter could not be used against Hall during the trial in Arboleda's death. Authorities are still investigating the Wilson shooting, and no charges have been filed.

"That's an officer who should be never walking the streets, disrespecting the badge and terrorizing the community," Pointer said.

Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston, whose office cleared Hall of wrongdoing and authorized his return to duty after Arboleda's death, reacted to his deputy's assault conviction in a statement Tuesday afternoon that also criticized his fellow elected law-and-order official.

"Although I wish the jury had returned a not-guilty verdict on all counts, I respect their service. We ask our officers to make split-second decisions and many of the jurors understood that," Livingston said. "I urge DA Becton not to retry this case. I also urge her to take down the posts on her reelection campaign social media where she touts this prosecution."

Stern said the jury favored acquitting Hall of the manslaughter charge, 7-5, when the hung jury was called. He said his team will look closely at some legal issues that came up during the trial, including instructions given to the jury.

"I am grateful that seven jurors were convinced he was not guilty," Stern said.

Arboleda led Danville police on a slow speed pursuit in 2018, after someone called police in response to the Newark man knocking on their door. Arboleda pulled over multiple times, only to drive away from police. At one point, they drew their guns without shooting, as Arboleda drove away.

Hall was only involved at the very end, when he pulled in front of Arboleda at the corner of Front and Diablo streets. He exited his car and stood near the Honda's front right side.

As Arboleda tried pulling away at 6 mph, Hall discharged his weapon 10 times, hitting Arboleda with nine. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Arboleda's death was the first police shooting in the town of Danville since 2001 at the time, and Wilson's death -- which also involved Hall -- was the only other Danville police shooting of any kind in the interim.

"Police officers are tasked with upholding laws and protecting people. A loss of life resulting from a police response is unfortunate and tragic. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s the last outcome that anyone wants to see. Our thoughts are with Mr. Arboleda’s family for the loss that they have suffered," Nicola Shihab, Danville's town public information officer, said in a statement after the Hall verdict.

"Ultimately this case was presented to and tried before a jury of our peers," Shihab added. "These proceedings were open and transparent -- the public had the opportunity to hear all of the information and testimony that was presented to and considered by the jury. That jury has now rendered a verdict. We respect the process and the outcome."

Editor's note: Bay City News Service portions of the article written by Tony Hicks of the BCN Foundation. DanvilleSanRamon.com reporter Jeanita Lyman contributed to this story.

Comments

Paul Clark
Registered user
Danville
on Oct 26, 2021 at 6:28 pm
Paul Clark, Danville
Registered user
on Oct 26, 2021 at 6:28 pm

Good! I hope he does all 17, and that he now is tried for his second killing! But the people still need to know who put Hall out on the street after he killed Arboleda. The lack of transparency on the part of our Sheriff is stunning!


Jennifer
Registered user
Danville
on Oct 26, 2021 at 8:35 pm
Jennifer, Danville
Registered user
on Oct 26, 2021 at 8:35 pm

I'm not surprised by the mistrial on the charge of voluntary manslaughter. I hope he gets probation. Police are in a no-win situation, and who wouldn't shoot when in fear of their life. Not that a car can hit and kill you. Unbelievable.


D
Registered user
Danville
on Oct 27, 2021 at 6:18 am
D, Danville
Registered user
on Oct 27, 2021 at 6:18 am

The murder of George Floyd was horrific, and the police officer who murdered him deserved his criminal prosecution and conviction. However, ever since, the police have unfairly all been labeled as the problem in the criminal justice system, and unethical, politically driven DA's like Becton, are attacking them for their own political aspirations. The crime rates have skyrocketed since, as the police, who risk their lives to save complete strangers, are understandably reluctant to get involved and do their job to apprehend criminals, knowing politically driven DA's like Becton are gunning for them, as well as ambulance chasing lawyers. This particular case was not filed by Becton until the day after the George Floyd conviction, showing how politically motivated her charges were, and this should have been only a civil lawsuit matter, and not a criminal matter. It is well documented that police officers are leaving the force in record numbers, and cities are unable to find recruits to fill the positions, thanks to people like Becton, and her ambulance chasing lawyer buddy. It is time for the public to stand up to these people, and send a message that we respect the police, and the incredibly tough job they have to do, and will not be monday morning quarterbacks constantly second guessing the life and death moves they have to make in a split second. Thank you Sheriff Livingston, for being the only elected official, who is not afraid to speak the truth, and risk his own career to support the rank and file police officers, and us law abiding citizens who rely on the police for our safety. DA Becton and her ambulance chasing buddy are a much greater threat to the safety of our community than this officer, who had to make a split second decision to save his life.


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