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Judge orders Danville police officer to stand trial for manslaughter in on-duty shooting

Firearm charge dismissed for lack of proof during preliminary hearing

Danville Police Officer Andrew Hall, center, heads into his preliminary hearing at the A. F. Bray Courthouse in Martinez on July 20 for the death of Laudemer Arboleda. (Photo by Harika Maddala/Bay City News)

Danville Police Officer Andrew Hall will stand trial on voluntary manslaughter in the 2018 shooting death of Laudemer Arboleda, but a judge threw out the charge of assault with a semi-automatic weapon, saying at a preliminary hearing Tuesday the prosecutor didn't adequately prove the gun used was technically semi-automatic.

Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Terri Mockler said there was not enough evidence showing Hall's claim of self-defense in firing 10 bullets at Arboleda was legitimate to warrant dismissing the manslaughter charge before trial. Hall's defense team argued Arboleda was driving his car at Hall, and the shooting may have saved the officer's life.

Laudemer Arboleda’s mother, Jeannie Atienza, enters the at the A. F. Bray Courthouse in Martinez on July 20 for Danville Police Officer Andrew Hall’s preliminary hearing. Hall was ordered to stand trial for killing Arboleda. (Photo by Harika Maddala/Bay City News)

Mockler said there wasn't enough evidence that Arboleda was committing a violent felony, nor had a violent history.

"The car itself was not aimed at Deputy Hall," Mockler said.

Hall, who was working as a Contra Costa County Sheriff's deputy assigned to the Danville Police Department at the time under the town's contract for police services, will be formally arraigned in Contra Costa County Superior Court on Aug. 9.

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Hall, who previously pleaded not guilty last month, is currently out of custody and on paid administrative leave from the sheriff's office.

At the preliminary hearing Tuesday in Martinez, assistant district attorney Chris Walpole showed the court video footage from multiple police cameras during the Nov. 3, 2018, chase. Police responded to reports of a suspicious man knocking on doors.

Arboleda, 33, stopped, then drove away from police at least three times on the footage -- twice with at least one officer drawing his gun without firing. One of the officers was heard clearly saying not to shoot, before Arboleda drove away again. At one point, an officer was heard saying if the chase got near downtown, he would call it off.

The incident ended at the intersection of Diablo Road and Front Street, with two police units behind Arboleda's gray Honda Civic, and two in front, including Hall's. There was enough space to drive between the police cars, which Arboleda tried doing when Hall opened fire from the front driver's side of Arboleda's car, hitting the Newark man nine times.

Mockler said the footage showed Arboleda started maneuvering between the police cars while Hall was still behind his own car.

The videotape, shown in open court in front of members of Arboleda's family, appeared to show Hall not taking cover before shooting, but stepping back as the car got closer. An officer in the car on the other side of Arboleda was still in his vehicle.

After Arboleda was shot, his car proceeded through the intersection and struck at least one other westbound car before stopping against the Diablo Road curb. Officers broke the driver's side window to get to Arboleda, who was slumped against the seat.

Hall's lawyer Harry Stern said other officers at the scene told investigators they feared for Hall's safety as Arboleda drove away. Stern said the fact that the car didn't hit Hall may have proved the shooting was a necessary, split-second decision

"Deputy Hall absolutely had the right to defend himself," Stern said, adding that officers made it clear throughout it was a serious situation and Arbodela needed to stop.

Walpole said it wasn't "a high-speed pursuit by any stretch of the imagination," but "a slow pursuit based on ringing some doorbells." He also played dispatch audio, which went long stretches without any talking, which he said indicated police did not consider the chase very dangerous.

Walpole said Hall "charged into the situation" and could've shot the officer on the other side of Arboleda's car.

"(Arboleda) didn't need to die," Walpole said. "This shouldn't have happened."

A sheriff's office investigation after the 2018 incident cleared Hall of any wrongdoing. Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton announced it was pressing charges in the 2018 case after Hall was involved in a second shooting earlier this year.

On March 11, Hall responded to reports of a man throwing rocks onto Interstate 680 from the Sycamore Valley Road overpass. The sheriff's office said 32-year-old Tyrell Wilson approached Hall near the overpass with a folding knife, arguing Hall shot Wilson in self-defense. The shooting is still being investigated.

The families of the deceased in both incidents said the men suffered from mental health issues.

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Judge orders Danville police officer to stand trial for manslaughter in on-duty shooting

Firearm charge dismissed for lack of proof during preliminary hearing

by /

Uploaded: Tue, Jul 20, 2021, 4:48 pm
Updated: Wed, Jul 21, 2021, 8:45 am

Danville Police Officer Andrew Hall will stand trial on voluntary manslaughter in the 2018 shooting death of Laudemer Arboleda, but a judge threw out the charge of assault with a semi-automatic weapon, saying at a preliminary hearing Tuesday the prosecutor didn't adequately prove the gun used was technically semi-automatic.

Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Terri Mockler said there was not enough evidence showing Hall's claim of self-defense in firing 10 bullets at Arboleda was legitimate to warrant dismissing the manslaughter charge before trial. Hall's defense team argued Arboleda was driving his car at Hall, and the shooting may have saved the officer's life.

Mockler said there wasn't enough evidence that Arboleda was committing a violent felony, nor had a violent history.

"The car itself was not aimed at Deputy Hall," Mockler said.

Hall, who was working as a Contra Costa County Sheriff's deputy assigned to the Danville Police Department at the time under the town's contract for police services, will be formally arraigned in Contra Costa County Superior Court on Aug. 9.

Hall, who previously pleaded not guilty last month, is currently out of custody and on paid administrative leave from the sheriff's office.

At the preliminary hearing Tuesday in Martinez, assistant district attorney Chris Walpole showed the court video footage from multiple police cameras during the Nov. 3, 2018, chase. Police responded to reports of a suspicious man knocking on doors.

Arboleda, 33, stopped, then drove away from police at least three times on the footage -- twice with at least one officer drawing his gun without firing. One of the officers was heard clearly saying not to shoot, before Arboleda drove away again. At one point, an officer was heard saying if the chase got near downtown, he would call it off.

The incident ended at the intersection of Diablo Road and Front Street, with two police units behind Arboleda's gray Honda Civic, and two in front, including Hall's. There was enough space to drive between the police cars, which Arboleda tried doing when Hall opened fire from the front driver's side of Arboleda's car, hitting the Newark man nine times.

Mockler said the footage showed Arboleda started maneuvering between the police cars while Hall was still behind his own car.

The videotape, shown in open court in front of members of Arboleda's family, appeared to show Hall not taking cover before shooting, but stepping back as the car got closer. An officer in the car on the other side of Arboleda was still in his vehicle.

After Arboleda was shot, his car proceeded through the intersection and struck at least one other westbound car before stopping against the Diablo Road curb. Officers broke the driver's side window to get to Arboleda, who was slumped against the seat.

Hall's lawyer Harry Stern said other officers at the scene told investigators they feared for Hall's safety as Arboleda drove away. Stern said the fact that the car didn't hit Hall may have proved the shooting was a necessary, split-second decision

"Deputy Hall absolutely had the right to defend himself," Stern said, adding that officers made it clear throughout it was a serious situation and Arbodela needed to stop.

Walpole said it wasn't "a high-speed pursuit by any stretch of the imagination," but "a slow pursuit based on ringing some doorbells." He also played dispatch audio, which went long stretches without any talking, which he said indicated police did not consider the chase very dangerous.

Walpole said Hall "charged into the situation" and could've shot the officer on the other side of Arboleda's car.

"(Arboleda) didn't need to die," Walpole said. "This shouldn't have happened."

A sheriff's office investigation after the 2018 incident cleared Hall of any wrongdoing. Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton announced it was pressing charges in the 2018 case after Hall was involved in a second shooting earlier this year.

On March 11, Hall responded to reports of a man throwing rocks onto Interstate 680 from the Sycamore Valley Road overpass. The sheriff's office said 32-year-old Tyrell Wilson approached Hall near the overpass with a folding knife, arguing Hall shot Wilson in self-defense. The shooting is still being investigated.

The families of the deceased in both incidents said the men suffered from mental health issues.

Comments

Paul Clark
Registered user
Danville
on Jul 21, 2021 at 9:14 am
Paul Clark, Danville
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2021 at 9:14 am

From the Article:

"A sheriff's office investigation after the 2018 incident cleared Hall of any wrongdoing. Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton announced it was pressing charges in the 2018 case after Hall was involved in a second shooting earlier this year."

Beyond prosecuting Hall, the DA's office needs to open a "transparent investigation" of the process by which Hall was "absolved of any wrongdoing" by the Sheriff's Dept. And by transparent, making public the names of the decision makers, since their decision in this case caused the death of another individual earlier this year under what appears to be similar circumstances. These deaths should not be allowed to be swept under the rug by the Sheriff.


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 21, 2021 at 10:32 pm
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2021 at 10:32 pm

Similar circumstances? You can’t tell the difference between the two incidents? Surely you jest.


Paul Clark
Registered user
Danville
on Jul 22, 2021 at 9:23 am
Paul Clark, Danville
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2021 at 9:23 am

No Malcolm, I can clearly see the similarities! In both cases, a citizen died needlessly at the hands of a trigger happy cop. A man, who appears to have absolutely no compassion for another human being. So much to say, I am not a "bootlicker" when it comes to law enforcement. There are no "do overs" when a human being is killed. It would be interesting to see how you react if, God forbid, a cop took the life of someone you loved. I will bet you you would "sing" a different tune. You give yourself a pass here because nether of the dead in these wrongful deaths mean anything to you!
And as I wrote, something needs to be done to take corrective action with the Sheriff's Department's use of deadly force protocols. The very idea that the Sheriff put Hall back on the street to needlessly kill another human being is chilling, and he personally needs to be made accountable for the behavior of those who work under him. As always, the fish stinks from the head.


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 22, 2021 at 4:29 pm
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2021 at 4:29 pm

Oh boy…

You can “clearly” see the similarities in both cases? No, you mean you perceive what you think is a similarity in both cases.

Better yet, let’s pretend you are Officer Hall. You receive a call to investigate an individual who is throwing rocks from a freeway overpass onto traffic below.

You approach the suspect and ask him to clear the intersection. The suspect fails to leave the intersection and then turn towards you producing a knife.

Okay Officer Paul Clark, what would you do? Hmm? Don’t backtrack now. Answer the question?






Paul Clark
Registered user
Danville
on Jul 22, 2021 at 4:50 pm
Paul Clark, Danville
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2021 at 4:50 pm

Malcolm, I have much more pressing things to be doing than to "spar" with you. Let 's let the court decide this issue. Have a nice day!


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 22, 2021 at 11:00 pm
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2021 at 11:00 pm

Pressure changes everything doesn't it?

I knew you wouldn't answer my question because you have no idea how you would handle that situation.

It appears your "clarity" lacks the reality of the incident.


Local Man
Registered user
Danville
on Jul 23, 2021 at 10:13 am
Local Man, Danville
Registered user
on Jul 23, 2021 at 10:13 am

Hey Malcom haven’t weighed in on your clueless posts in a while but I will answer your question since Paul won’t If I were a trained police officer I would use my training recognize that this mentally ill man is not a threat and de-escalate the situation while not killing him. That is the way 99.99% of the police would have handled it By the book. Clearly Officer Hall has shown he does not have what it takes to be a police officer and it has cost two people their lives


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 23, 2021 at 1:11 pm
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 23, 2021 at 1:11 pm


At Local Man

Not much to say here except that you and Paul Clark failed to specifically state how you would have handled the situation.


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 24, 2021 at 7:41 am
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 24, 2021 at 7:41 am

Now that the dust has settled, let’s take a brief analysis of Local Man’s latest tantrum.

What is the difference between a trained police officer vs a police officer? There appears to be a redundancy in Local Man’s thought process. But I digress…

Local Man said that he would use his training to recognize that a knife wielding suspect is not a threat.

Local Man apparently has no experience as a peace officer, yet claims that 99.99% would have handled the situation by the book. What book? The Sheriff department’s Use of Force policy defines threat levels, which apparently Local Mindless fails to address.


Paul Clark
Registered user
Danville
on Jul 25, 2021 at 9:07 am
Paul Clark, Danville
Registered user
on Jul 25, 2021 at 9:07 am

To Local Man,

As Ronald Reagan said, you can't believe what Liberals say because so much of what they believe isn't true. I don't know Malcolm's politics, it doesn't matter, but applied more broadly, what RR said is applicable to the way Malcolm sees things. And thank you for stating the obvious as to what a well-trained police officer would have done in the two instances where Hall chose to take someone's life without, what to me looks to me to be just cause to do so. Having at your disposal the means to take another human being's life carries with it the obligation to not use it unless it is absolutely necessary. I have seen the video of the shooting of the second victim He was yards away from Hall when Hall shot him. He did not present a threat to Hall's life. I believe in the Second Amendment, but it was included in the Constitution as a deterrent against an oppressive government. The Police have had a "carve out" on the 2A, but too many of them use it as a "green light" to needlessly harm unarmed citizens, with the full knowledge that their agency will find a way to justify their action.Indeed, had Hall not killed a second citizen, he would have gotten away with the first killing. And that is why there needs to be an open investigation of the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department's "use of deadly force policy," including the investigative process. Hall was given a "pass" by the Sheriff, and was allowed to return to duty. Just who made that determination needs to been subjected to the scrutiny of the citizens of Danville, and Contra Costa County for that matter. So much to say, our Sheriff won't issue an ordinary citizen a Concealed Weapons Permit ( that is unless you are "special") but it appears he's o.k. with putting a killer in a uniform back on the street to take another life. You can be absolutely certain if you or I had shot and killed someone under similar circumstances, there would have been a very OPEN investigation.


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 25, 2021 at 3:41 pm
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 25, 2021 at 3:41 pm

Huh? I thought Pauly had more pressing issues than to spar with me. Welp, some folks just can't help themselves I guess.

Paul, you're all over the map with that last rant. How the 2A, CCW's, and the late great Ronald Reagan come in to play in your latest post is confusing. Focus man, focus.

One question I have though: what's the difference between an investigation and a very open investigation?

Internal Affairs investigations are closed from the get go, as well as any criminal investigation. There is also the possibilty of the DOJ getting involved should the case warrant further investigation. So, the open case claim mute.








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