The trial for Andrew Hall, a Danville police officer charged with manslaughter in the shooting death three years ago of Laudemer Arboleda, began Monday in Contra Costa County Superior Court.
Scott Alonso, spokesman for the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office, confirmed that the proceedings this week would consist of motion hearings and jury selection, with opening statements not likely to begin for two weeks. Hall, a county sheriff's deputy assigned to the Danville Police Department, was ordered to stand trial following a preliminary hearing in July.
Arboleda led police on a slow-speed chase through Danville on Nov. 3, 2018, after police repeatedly tried pulling him over, after residents called police reporting a suspicious person knocking on doors.
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.
Arboleda was trying to pull between two police cars, when Hall opened fire from the front driver's side of Arboleda's car, hitting the Newark man nine times.
Hall has pleaded not guilty. His attorney, Harry Stern, has said Hall was firing in self-defense.
Danville contracts for police services through the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office. A sheriff's investigation after the 2018 incident cleared Hall of any wrongdoing.
The district attorney's office announced it was pressing charges in the 2018 case after Hall was involved in a second fatal shooting in Danville, earlier this year.
The judge presiding over the case said Monday she won't allow jurors to hear that Hall was cleared of wrongdoing after the shooting by police investigators.
Hearing pre-trial motions Monday in Martinez, Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Terri Mockler also said evidence from a second shooting involving Hall in March 2021 -- when he shot and killed 32-year-old transient Tyrell Wilson -- can't be used against Hall during the trial.
Mockler also said Monday that two previous allegations that Hall used excessive force, including one incident from 2014 at the Martinez Detention Facility, also can't be used during Hall's upcoming trial.
Mockler said she would allow evidence of Arboleda's mental issues to be admitted, though she said she doesn't "want it to become a separate little trial." Assistant District Attorney Chris Walpole said Monday that Arboleda was hospitalized earlier in 2018 for mental illness.
Hall, who is currently on administrative leave, didn't appear in court Monday. Jury selection will begin Wednesday and the trial will likely last through most of October.
On March 11, Hall responded to reports of a man throwing rocks onto Interstate 680 from the Sycamore Valley Road overpass in Danville. Police have said Wilson approached Hall near the overpass with a folding knife and Hall shot him 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.
Editor's note: DanvilleSanRamon.com editor Jeremy Walsh contributed to this story.