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Still no pleas for Oakland assault suspects

April 23, 2010 5:33:02 PM PDT
Lavonte Drummer and Dominic Davis of Oakland, both 18, are still waiting to enter their pleas for the beating death of 59-year-old Tian Sheng Yu. Yu died after being brutally beaten on an Oakland sidewalk last week.

Drummer's attorney is challenging the severity of the charge.

"This is not a murder case, this is a case that, in our opinion, has been overcharged," Adante Pointer said.

But Oakland police say the young men admitted to investigators they had been drinking and wanted to hurt someone because of frustrations in their own lives.

"He's a young man that's found himself in the middle of a very tragic situation; he's not an evil person," Pointer said.

Yet both teen suspects have a criminal history of assault and the Oakland District Attorney says there is surveillance video to prove last week's daylight attack in the city's Uptown was unprovoked.

Friday afternoon, a vigil honoring the deceased father spread onto Telegraph Avenue, where the beating happened.

Yu's wife called for an end to the violence and others who worked with Tian-Sheng rallied for support.

"We are a family; when tragedy hits, families we come together and try to work and help each other out," co-worker David Bonner said.

Carl Chan of Oakland's Chinese Chamber of Commerce says they are already planning outreach meetings to ensure peace on the streets -- a direct wish of the Yu family.

"Instead of having anger, she just wants to make sure by remember husband she really wants to something more positive," Chan said.

Yu Family Memorial Fund
c/o Metropolitan Bank
250 E. 18th St.
Oakland, CA 94606


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