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.