Man charged in murder of Oakland investigator Sandra Coke


Randy Alana, 56, is set to appear in court later Friday on charges that he killed 50-year-old Sandra Coke, an investigator for the federal public defender's office in Sacramento who was last seen by her daughter when she left her home in the 600 block of Aileen Street in Oakland at about 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 4.

Her body was found in a park in Vacaville on Aug. 9 and she was formally identified by authorities on Aug. 13.

Alana has also been charged with having 17 prior felony convictions, including for manslaughter, kidnapping, robbery and rape.

He appeared at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland this morning at a hearing where a judge revoked his probation on one of his previous convictions.

Dressed in a red jail jumpsuit, wearing glasses and sporting short hair and a small mustache, Alana chatted briefly with his attorney at the hearing.

He will appear in another courtroom in the same courthouse later Friday to be arraigned on the murder charge.

According to a probable cause statement by Oakland police Officer Steven Bang, video evidence and GPS tracking data shows that Alana was present at locations that are consistent with videos of Coke's car being driven in Oakland beginning at 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 4.

Bang said when Alana was arrested in Pittsburg on Aug. 6, he had Coke's car keys and debit card in his possession but "claimed to have no knowledge of Coke's disappearance."

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said in a statement, "Sandra Coke's murder is an unfathomable tragedy that has devastated her family, friends and co-workers."

O'Malley said, "Randy Alana will be brought to justice for this brutal and senseless crime."

Friends and colleagues of Sandra Coke have set up a fund in her memory. The money will go toward her teenage daughter's care and education. For more information on how to donate, click here.

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