On Saturday, March 16th, 2019 at approximately 2:25 PM, a 25-year-old female (Destinee Shaharisha – Jenae Hillery) from Antioch was found shot to death while driving her vehicle on eastbound Highway 4 near Willow Pass Road off-ramp. This appears to have been targeted in this shooting and Investigators believe it was gang related.
On Sunday, March 17th, 2019 at 5:49 PM CHP – Dublin Area units responded to a freeway shooting which Investigators believe occurred on I-580 eastbound at Airway Boulevard. This appears to be a targeted shooting involving road rage and the suspects are described as two black male adults in a 2019 Honda Accord. One of the victims suffered a gunshot wound that is not life-threatening.
Today, at approximately 10:00 AM, a freeway shooting occurred on I-80 westbound, east of McDonald Avenue. In this incident a suspect fired one round and fled the scene. The victim pulled off the freeway and upon discovering the bullet hole and notified Richmond Police Department. After they determined it occurred on the freeway they notified us. There were no injuries and the suspect and vehicle are unknown at this point. Golden Gate Division Investigative Services Unit is assisting the CHP – Oakland Area in their investigation.
At this time none of these shootings appear to be related. CHP Investigators will look to see if Shot Spotter and Video Cameras along Highway 4 and on I-80 were able to provide any evidence regarding the March 16th and today’s shooting respectively.
Since November 1, 2015 there have been a total of 185 freeway shootings within CHP – Golden Gate Divisions jurisdiction, resulting in 65 injuries, 9 of which were fatal. The CHP has made 34 arrests for individuals connected to one or more of these shootings.
We want to assure the public that not only will these incidents be fully investigated using all available resources and technology, but that we will also continue to actively patrol highways from the air and on the ground in an effort to keep all motorists safe.
CHP – Golden Gate Division Special Investigations Unit is asking any witnesses with information regarding these separate incidents to contact them at their 24-hour tip line 707-917-4491 (callers must press # twice at the end of the call).”Read More
By CHP-Golden Gate Division
At approximately 2:25 PM on Saturday, March 16, 2019, CHP – Contra Costa Area was advised of a silver Honda that collided into the guard rail on Highway 4 eastbound at Port Chicago Highway. While units were in route another caller advised the vehicle ended up on the Willow Pass Road off-ramp from eastbound Highway 4.
Upon emergency personnel and CHP arrival, it was determined the vehicle drove off the roadway and collided with the guardrail. The solo 25-year-old female driver, Destinee Shaharisha – Jenae Hillery, a resident of Antioch was pronounced deceased on scene.
While units were investigating the scene, bullet holes were located on the driver side door. This investigation is ongoing, any further details will be released at a later time.
If anyone has information regarding this incident or witnessed it take place, they are encouraged to contact CHP investigators at 707-917-449.Read More
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors revised their Meeting Rules of Procedure in a bid to comply with the state open law or Ralph M. Brown Act at a meeting on Tuesday.
But the supervisors action also paved the way for longtime Metropolitan Transportation Commission member and District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover to hook up to a new four-year MTC term of office even though there have been reports he has missed meetings and three other supervisors – Supervisor Karen Andersen of Danville, Supervisor Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill and Diane Burgis of Brentwood – had reportedly jockeyed to replace him.
If not for District 1 Supervisor John Gioia, who wields clout as Board Chair this year and makes committee and commission assignments, Glover might have lost his new term of office on the powerful MTC. It’s a coveted position nowadays, especially when the regional transportation agency is gaining traction not only in doling out hefty sums of transit funding but is getting its share of the limelight in the nine-county Bay Area affordable housing arena.
But County Administrator David Twa told supervisors the recommended open meeting changes to their rules of procedures will “clean up the appointment process” of how supervisors select themselves to local, regional or state committees and commissions.
With the newly adopted Brown Act provision, each supervisor must submit to the clerk of the board on or before December 1 of each year his or her list of Boards, Committees or Commissions that he or she wants to serve on. The list of supervisors’ board-committee-commission interests will be placed on a Board Agenda for public review in December.
The Board Chair will continue to decide who will serve on local, regional, or state committees or commissions and the supervisors’ reorganization meeting, when the new chair and vice chair are selected, will continue to be held in January*.
Soon after the supervisors approved the new Meeting Rules of Procedure, supervisors without discussion reapproved Glover’s appointment to MTC, an action that they had similarly done at a January 19 meeting, but one that ran into objection.
Not everyone is pleased with the board’s action of reappointing Supervisors Glover to the MTC, especially Lafayette lawyer Jason A. Bezis, who at the supervisors’ January 19 meeting warned supervisors that their committee/commission appointment procedure was not in compliance with the Brown Act and that the supervisors should open up the appointment of a new MTC commissioner to the general public.
“I ask that (the) Board postpone the Metropolitan Transportation Commission appointment to the 2019-2023 term until the county (1) opens up the position to public applications, (2) issues a news release about the availability of the position and (3) carefully evaluates a pool of applicants, including a careful analysis of the incumbent’s twelve-year record at MTC,” wrote Bezis in a March 22 letter sent to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on March 12 and also sent to The Contra Costa Herald.
Bezis was not in attendance at Tuesday’s supervisors meeting.
Bezis has also been critical of Glover’s “severe absenteeism problem” at important MTC meetings. “The incumbent missed the January 24, 2018 Bay Area Toll Authority vote that placed the RM3 or bridge toll hike on the ballot. He missed the Dec. 19, 2018 MTC meeting at which the signing of the CASA Compact was approved. He was the only voting member absent at that important meeting,” the lawyer wrote.
“I don’t know what he (Bezis) is talking about, unless it has anything to do with my surgery recovery of several years ago,” responded Supervisor Glover to the charges of his absenteeism record at MTC meetings. “I’ve been at the MTC meetings.”
In addition, Glover said it would be inappropriate to fill the MTC position that he holds with someone in the general public. “It is better to have an elected official fill that seat,” the supervisor said.
Mitchoff Wants Pittsburg-Bay Point BART Ambulance Ride Probe
During an annual performance presentation of the Alliance Emergency Ambulance Medical Services, District 4 Supervisor Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill requested that officials investigate whether there has been an increase in the number of emergency calls from the Pittsburg/Bay Point BART station after 1:30 a.m. when the train system shuts down for the day.
Emergency personnel responding to calls at the BART station usually pick up homeless individuals who have been riding the trains all day, and at the end of train service call for an ambulance. While they are frequently taken to the nearest emergency hospital, the patient has the right to request a ride to an out of area hospital of the patient’s choice. That can increase operating costs for the ambulance service.
The supervisor is concerned the county’s Emergency Medical Service that responded to 105,377 calls in 2018/2019 compared to 39,496 in 1991/1992, is being financially burdened by out-of-county hospital rides. “I want to know where these ambulances are going. Are they going out of county?” she asked.
EMS Director Pat Frost and Contra Costa Count Fire Protection Chief Jeff Carman said they would give the supervisors a report about the ambulance situation out of the Pittsburg/Bay Point BART station.
Among a number of consent items supervisors approved were:
Concord Jet Service, Inc. inks $650,000 Sheriff Contract
Approved the Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston’s request to sign a sub-lease with Concord Jet Service Inc. in the amount of $650,000 to provide an aircraft hangar, office space and helicopter fuel for the period of May 1, 2019 through April 30, 2024. Concord Jet Service Inc. will provide aircraft hangar space at Buchanan Field Airport for the Sheriff’s helicopters and office space for the staff. The Office of the Sheriff will pay the contractor $1,948 for hangar rental per month and $2,262 for office space per month for a total rent of $4,210 per month. The sublease allows for the purchase of helicopter fuel.
Juvenile Hall, Orin Allen Facility Libraries Draw $20,000 Lesher Foundation Grants
Approval of a two-year $20,000 grant — $10,00 payable in 2019 and $10,000 payable in 2020 — from the Margaret Lesher Foundation to provide library books and materials at the Juvenile Hall Library and at the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facilitation Library for the period from February 1, 2010 through June 30, 2020.
Approved Periodic Five ½-Month Closures of Pacheco Blvd. at State Route 4
Supervisors approved a resolution for the periodic closure of Pacheco Boulevard at State Route 4 for no more than 20 nights between March 13 and August 31 from 11 p.m. through 5 a.m. for the purpose of demolition and girder erection for the Caltrans bridge widening project. The bridge demolition is part of the $135.2 million State Highway 4/Interstate 680 widening project.Read More
Event features free adoptions of all bully breed dogs, $25 adoptions of all other animals.
Martinez, CA – On Saturday, March 16th, Contra Costa Animal Services (CCAS) will be hosting its 9th Annual St. Pitty’s Day event. The St. Pitty’s Day event features free adoptions of all bully breed dogs, and $25 adoptions of all other animals. Interested adopters can take advantage of this free adoption promotion by visiting CCAS’ Martinez and Pinole adoption centers to meet our animals and adopt their new family member.
This annual event is an opportunity to showcase bully breed shelter dogs, enlighten and educate the public about this amazing breed and highlight the work of our rescue/transfer groups who specialize in this breed of dog.
CCAS Adoption Locations:
Martinez Adoption Center – 4800 Imhoff Pl., Martinez, CA 94553
Pinole Adoption Center – 910 San Pablo Ave., Pinole, CA 94564
For more information, contact Contra Costa County Animal Services’ Media and Community Relations Manager Steve Burdo at 925-393-6836, or by email at email@example.com.
Contra Costa Animal Services is the largest animal welfare organization in Contra Costa County. The department operates two shelters, in Martinez and Pinole, where they provide high-quality animal care services, shelter homeless, abandoned and lost animals, place animals in safe, caring homes, and provide education and services to enhance the lives of people and their animal companions. Additionally, the department’s Field Services Division plays a crucial role in protecting the health and safety of all people and animals in our community through enforcement of state and laws, protecting the public from animal injury and working to prevent animal cruelty, abuse and neglect.Read More
Family member also arrested for accessory to murder
By Pittsburg Police Department
On Monday, March 11, 2019, Pittsburg Police arrested Rolando Aquino who was wanted for the murder of Mark Gretler on July 27th of last year. Aquino has been on the run ever since the murder and had a $1,000,000 warrant for his arrest. (See related KPIX CBS5 TV news report)
Aquino, who was identified as the suspect shortly after the murder, was tracked down by the Pittsburg Police Investigations Division in the City of Oakland. Edna Aquino, a 60-year-old family member, was also taken into custody as an accessory to the murder.
Anyone with additional information should contact Detective Jacob Stage with the Pittsburg Police Department at 925-252-6972.Read More
Northern California Gateway Rotary Club meets online instead of at weekly sit-down meetings
Rotary International District 5160 Governor Jon Dwyer visited Northern California Gateway Rotary’s Charter reception at the Elks Lodge in Pittsburg, Wednesday March 6, to personally welcome the 25 diverse members of the area’s newest and most novel Rotary Club.
The club’s composition is extraordinary, 12 women and 13 men, with an average age of 42 years, one a former President of a Rotary youth group. The objective of the club is to connect committed, community minded volunteers in the pursuit of service through friendship without the traditional meeting constraints of the past, thus the name Northern California Gateway.
Victor Georgiou, of the Danville Rotary Club, was the Governor’s Representative tasked with guiding new members through the Charter process, over recent years. Joyce Chiu, a former Danville Rotarian, was also active from the beginning. While there are 71 other clubs in the district with over 3,500 members, population growth has outpaced Rotary’s growth, in part because of the culture shift away from the weekly sit-down-meal meeting.
The new club concept embraces engagement over meeting attendance, retaining the network of community-minded friends’ approach that is the core of Rotary. Participation in projects is a large part of attendance. Members may also attend meetings online.
But don’t get the new members wrong: As flexible as the club may be in terms of presence, the focus on joint implementation of social projects is paramount.
Like all new ideas, there was some early resistance to change. That has largely gone away as other clubs are coming to view the new club as an asset to their efforts Northern California Gateway Rotary received its official charter in December 2018. District Governor Jon Dwyer, and his wife Bonnie, congratulated each member of the new club. DG Dwyer also emphasized the club’s status as a role model:
“Rotary club of Northern California Gateway stands for a new generation of Rotary clubs – the kind of clubs I consider necessary so that Rotary can continue to grow,” he said.
In his thanks to Gateway Rotary, new club president Daniel Lopez clarified the future path of the club.
“Together we will interpret the Rotary idea in new ways, design and start new projects and make new friends,” he said. “In this process, we will be guided by our Rotary values and the idea that is expressed in our club name.”
“We all had a great entertaining and humorous evening with good conversations among friends and families,” Lopez continued. “After all the words of praise, it is time now to grow together as a club, to get the first projects off the ground, to get active in the region, and to contribute to the development of the Rotary family – both internally and externally. All in the spirit of the club name: Rotary Club of Northern California Gateway.”
To learn more visit http://gatewayrotary5160.org.Read More
On Tuesday, March 12, 2019, District Attorney Diana Becton and staff attended an event in New York City to announce the end of the backlog of untested sexual assault kits in Contra Costa County. These results come from the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office participation in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Elimination Grant Program, a three-year grant program to test sexual assault kits.
Our Office was one of 32 grantees funded, totaling $1,841,535 to test 1,246 kits since 2015. The testing of these kits allowed for DNA evidence to be uploaded to the national DNA databank to assist in investigations and identify offenders.
“We partnered with 24 law enforcement agencies in our community to erase the backlog of sexual assault kits in Contra Costa County,” said Becton. “I want to express my gratitude for our partners working with our office to end the backlog. Testing these kits can help bring closure and justice to sexual assault victims. We are going to continue working on this issue to ensure we never have a backlog in our community again.”
To ease the burden of testing these kits, through this grant our Office collected the untested kits from participating agencies and sent the kits to Sorenson Forensics in Utah. The collaboration between Sorenson Forensics, the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Crime Lab and our Office allowed for a more efficient process of testing these kits.
Due to state law in California, law enforcement agencies have mandated reporting timeframes to test these kits. If an agency chooses not to test, they have to substantiate their reasons to the California Department of Justice. Our Office will continue to monitor the progress of all agencies in Contra Costa County to ensure state law is followed and no kits remain untested.
Overall, the Manhattan District Attorney’s program tested 55,242 kits and resulted in 18,803 DNA profiles uploaded into the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). Locally, the results here for our kits were:
- 1,246 kits DNA tested (1978 to 2016)
- 182 DNA profiles entered into CODIS
- 122 Confirmatory hits
- 51 Offender hits
- 8 Cases reopened for further review by law enforcement agencies
- Full compliance of all participating agencies
Washington, DC – On the House floor today, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA-11) managed the rule to begin consideration of H.Con.Res. 24, a straightforward Democratic resolution sponsored by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY-10), expressing the sense of Congress that the report by Special Counsel Mueller should be made available to the American public and to Congress.
Highlights of Congressman DeSaulnier’s remarks are included below and video of the full speech is available here.
“When the Justice Department named Robert Mueller to Special Counsel for the Russia investigation, acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said, ‘A special counsel is necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome. Our nation is grounded on the rule of law, and the public must be assured that government officials administer the law fairly.’
This resolution does not predetermine the outcome of the Mueller investigation. It simply expresses that the report of the Special Counsel should be made available to Congress and to the American people.
The public, including my constituents in Contra Costa, wants to know what happened. Nearly 9 in 10 Americans – in both parties – say the Mueller investigation should produce a full, public report on the findings.
Not only do people want to know, but they deserve to know.
To date, Mueller’s investigation has resulted in:
o 34 people and three companies being criminally charged;
o Nearly 200 charges filed;
o Seven guilty pleas;
o And one conviction following a jury trial.
o The investigation cost over $25 million, but recovered approximately $48 million in assets from tax evasion.
Eight federal and congressional intelligence and national security groups believe Russia interfered in the election. With the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the F.B.I., and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence concluding that Vladimir Putin personally ‘ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election’ to ‘undermine public faith in the democratic process.’
The last time our country had a Special Counsel operating under the same rules as the Mueller Probe was in 1993 to investigate the Waco siege and allegations of government wrongdoing. Prosecutors posted their final report directly on the Internet with hundreds of pages of exhibits and timelines.
The American public should receive the same transparency when the Mueller report is released.
I encourage my friends across the aisle to support the release of the Mueller report. We have commitments to support it from three House Republican Leaders including the Minority Leader, Minority Whip, and Republican Conference Chair, and I hope all of the Republican Caucus will join Democrats in this vote to ensure we share one of the most important investigations of our time within these halls and with all of America.”
DeSaulnier is also a Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which is investigating any possible criminal activity related to President Trump or his associates.
DeSaulnier represents portions of Contra Costa County.Read More
By CHP-Contra Costa
On May 4, 2018, Contra Costa CHP began an investigation of a fatal hit and run on Hwy 4 at Bixler Road in Discovery Bay. In brief summary, the deceased was located the next day just off the roadway with no real leads that were presented early on, which compounded the tragic loss of life for the family of the deceased because we were unable to provide any clear details of what really happened at that time.
Our CHP Officers began the investigation and followed many leads, including working along side our special investigations unit, but were unfortunately unsuccessful in locating the suspect or suspect vehicle.
Then in late 2018, CHP received a tip with information regarding the investigation. This led to locating the vehicle involved, and a possible suspect as well. But many more hours of hard work were put into the case to obtain solid evidence, records, interviews, warrants, etc.
Then just last Friday, March 8, 2019, all the long hours and hard work of the investigation finally produced the fruits of the Officers labor. CHP was successful in filing a criminal complaint for Vehicular Manslaughter (DUI) and Felony Hit & Run with enhancements. The judge set bail at $300,000.
The suspect was not immediately located. But later a peaceful & successful surrender was negotiated with the suspects attorney and the suspect, Crystal Diane Lia, 36yr old from Discovery Bay, surrendered to the court Monday, March 11, 2019.
If you have any information regarding this incident from May 4, 2018, or the morning of May 5 2018, and would like to come forward to provide that, please contact Contra Costa CHP in Martinez at (925) 646-4980.
Although the life that the suspect took cannot be replaced, we hope that this will begin to bring some closure to the family that lost their loved one nearly one year ago.Read More