Suspects in Perata carjacking arraigned

August 14, 2008 12:43:39 PM PDT
An Oakland man and his girlfriend were arraigned today on charges that they were involved in the carjacking of state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata's car and a shooting that left a 10-year-old boy partially paralyzed.

Jared Adams, 25, and Maeve Clifford, 19, pleaded not guilty to the multiple felony charges they each face and are scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court on Aug. 29 to have dates set for pretrial hearings.

A third defendant, 24-year-old Ryan McGough of San Leandro, a longtime friend of Adams, also appeared in court today but his arraignment was postponed until next Monday because he doesn't have an attorney yet.

The Alameda County Grand Jury indicted Adams, Clifford and McGough on July 24 on a total of 21 felony counts for the Dec. 29 carjacking of Perata's car, a Jan. 10 incident in which a gas station was robbed and 10-year-old Christopher Rodriguez was shot while taking a piano lesson, and several other carjackings and auto thefts.

The charges include attempted murder, assault with a firearm, robbery, carjacking, auto theft and receiving a stolen car.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said the defendants used the fancy tire rims and other car parts that they grabbed in the carjackings and car thefts to rebuilt Clifford's Camaro.

The indictment alleges that a 2006 red Dodge Charger was taken from Perata, D-Oakland, at gunpoint near the intersection of 51st Street and Shattuck Avenue in Oakland about 1:45 p.m. on Dec. 29. Perata, who was unharmed, was on his way to deliver Christmas presents when he was carjacked.

The car, which had 22-inch tire rims, was recovered in Richmond the next day, near the home of McGough's mother.

According to Oakland police spokesman Roland Holmgren, the bullet that injured Christopher Rodriguez was one of several shots fired during a robbery attempt at a Chevron gas station at 4400 Piedmont Ave. at Pleasant Valley Road around 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 10. The bullet traveled across the street and into the Harmony Road Music School, where Rodriguez was taking a lesson.

The bullet entered Rodriguez's abdomen and ripped through his spleen, kidney and spine before lodging in his spine.

Adams and Clifford were arrested a short distance away after leading police on a high-speed chase in a Ford Mustang they had recently stolen, according to the indictment.

Clifford's lawyer, Darryl Stallworth, said after today's brief hearing that Clifford is accused of being a passenger in Adams' car during some of the incidents and "associated with people who were not in her best interest."

Referring to Adams, Stallworth said Clifford "was in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person."


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