EXCLUSIVE: Jasper Wu's family voices concerns over murder suspects' possible shorter sentences

Jasper Wu was killed in a rival gang shootout along I-880 in Oakland in Nov. 2021

Dion Lim Image
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
EXCLUSIVE: Suspects in toddler murder may face shorter sentences
The family of slain toddler Jasper Wu is expressing their concerns over Alameda County DA's enhancement policy, which could affect the suspects' sentencing.

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- The family of Jasper Wu, the toddler killed along I-880 in Oakland in November 2021, is expressing concern as a policy change within the Alameda County District Attorney's office could drastically change the sentencing in their case.

ABC7 News anchor Dion Lim sat down with An Wu and her husband Tuesday morning.

These days, they spend their time tending to their collection of succulents in the front yard and and trying to move on from the tragic events of Nov. 6, 2021.

RELATED: Jasper Wu case timeline: A 13-month investigation into Oakland freeway shooting death of toddler

The family was driving along Interstate 880 in Oakland when their 23-month-old son Jasper was hit and killed by what law enforcement call rolling gunfire between rival gangs.

We were there as family burned offerings at the site where it happened and at his funeral. A close family friend sat down with ABC7 News in December, after three suspects were arrested.

"Of course, we were super relieved when we found our the suspect was in custody after 13 months," said Susan Xu.

Those feelings of relief though, have since been replaced by concern.

VIDEO: EXCLUSIVE: Jasper Wu's family, friend speak about arrests made in 23-month-old's murder

Jasper Wu's parents and a close family friend is speaking out after three were arrested in the 2021 killing of the 23-month-old on I-880 in Oakland.

After meeting with the Alameda County District Attorney's office this week, they became aware of new guidelines that could drastically reduce the sentences for the suspects if they are convicted. A preliminary hearing is set for this week.

"If that happens, if the new DA, that's the direction she goes lowering the sentencing what kind of message are we sending to the public," said An Wu, after wiping away tears.

Lim obtained an internal memo which indicates Price's intention to "bring balance back to sentencing and reduce recidivism"- by not allowing prosecutors to "file or require defendants plead to sentencing enhancements."

This includes for gang activity or gun possession.

RELATED: Jasper Wu: Rival gang shootout led to child's death on Oakland highway; 3 arrested, officials say

Anthony Brass is a criminal defense attorney and explained why enhancements matter.

"An enhancement adds time to a sentence. For instance, if I rob someone it carries a certain penalty. If I rob someone with a gun, it adds 10, 20 years to the experience, to the sentence."

According to Brass, a gun enhancement where someone is hit and killed, could add the possibility of life behind bars.

Life is what the Wu family wants in their journey for justice.

Through her translator, An Wu said she did not "believe in second chances" and "doesn't believe lowering the sentence will somehow prevent them from doing this again."

As the Wu's continue to honor Jasper, they consider a permanent move out of California. There is too much trauma and fear over driving through Oakland these days.

VIDEO: Family holds funeral for Jasper Wu, toddler killed during I-880 shooting in Oakland

Nearly two weeks after 23-month-old Jasper Wu was killed by gunfire on an Oakland freeway, he was laid to rest.

But An Wu is not afraid of sharing her convictions in an effort to seek justice.

"This isn't the only case on them (the suspects). They did harmful things before, they did what they did to jasper and most likely they'll do it again."

While the Wu family say they'll never get over what happened to baby Jasper, whether it be a year from now, or anytime in the future, they do hope to one day have a big family and be happy.

VIDEO: Heartbroken mother of 23-month-old killed on I-880 in Oakland makes plea to public

The family of 23-month of Jasper Wu, gathered at a makeshift memorial along the SouthBound lanes of 880 in Oakland late Monday morning.

I reached out to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office with questions about sentencing and Jasper Wu's case.

The public information officer told me Pamela Price would be available to answer questions at a 3 p.m. press conference on Tuesday.

RELATED: Fremont family urges suspect to surrender after toddler dies, caught in crossfire of I-880 shooting

ABC7 News was there, but Price left immediately afterwards.

A statement was sent to me at 3:52pm, writing: "The matter is under review by our team. DA Price is unavailable for the rest of the day for an interview."

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