Jasper Wu: Preliminary hearing begins for suspects in fatal shooting of toddler on Oakland freeway

Dion Lim Image
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Preliminary hearing begins for Jasper Wu shooting suspects
Ivory Bivins, Johnny Jackson and Trevor Green appeared in court Monday for the fatal Oakland freeway shooting of Jasper Wu in 2021.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- New information is coming to light in the Jasper Wu murder case as the preliminary hearing for the three men arrested for his death gets underway.

As defense attorneys for Ivory Bivins, Johnny Jackson and Trevor Green made their way into the Alameda County courthouse on Monday their goal was clear.

MORE: 15-month-old shot while riding in car near Oakland's Little Saigon, fire officials say

"I'm asking all charges be dropped after the preliminary examination," said Annie Beles, who is representing Jackson.

California Highway Patrol investigators claim Wu was hit by gunfire between rival gangs on the afternoon of Nov. 6, 2021. Wu was sitting in his car seat in the back passenger side of his family's white Lexus sedan as it drove in the southbound lanes of Interstate 880.

Investigators say Johnny Jackson, the last person arrested in the shooting, is a member of the Eddy Rock gang.

"He did nothing to cause the death of the child. We intend to show his lack of involvement in this case," said his attorney, Ernie Castillo. He later said it seems to him that Jackson is a victim in this case.

TIMELINE: A 13-month investigation into Oakland freeway shooting death of toddler

Ivory Bivens, who, according to charging documents is a member of the Chopper City gang is believed to be the driver of the other vehicle involved.

Jackson, Bivins and Green, also allegedly a member of the Chopper City gang, were charged with murder, shooting at an occupied vehicle, and possession of a firearm by a felon under former District Attorney Nancy O'Malley's administration. Those charges carry the possibility of life in prison without parole.

Bivin's defender brought up what he called a "political circus" surrounding the case.

"We also intend to flesh out the racist and class-biased tendencies of gang enhancement," said Bivin's attorney.

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

The Alameda County DA announced three arrests were made in connection to the fatal Oakland freeway shooting of 23-month-old Jasper Wu last year.

When ABC7 News anchor Dion Lim asked for him to elaborate on what circus he was referring to, Castillo said, "There have been several rallies surrounding the decision making between Nancy and Pam Price."

Norbert Chu, a retired prosecutor with the Alameda County District Attorney advising the Wu family, responded to the accusation.

"It has nothing to do with politics. It has everything to do with responsibility and accountability of the conduct that was committed on the freeway," said Chu.

He also referenced the memo, sent from District Attorney Price's email address to members of the Chinese Community, calling them "misinformed." That email sparked a public letter written by the National Asian Pacific Islander Prosecutor's Association, denouncing the DA's messaging. Shortly after, a Justice for Jasper rally was held on the courthouse steps.

EXCLUSIVE: I-Team obtains Alameda Co. DA's email; lesser sentence for Jasper Wu's alleged killers?

Inside Judge Patton's courtroom Monday, Assistant DA Peter McGuinness questioned a CHP officer and detective whose testimony laid the groundwork for the hearing.

Evidence photos were shown, including the bullet hole that went through the Wu family's windshield and struck Jasper, along with images of the eight spent rifle casings found littered along the northbound lanes of Interstate 880.

The CHP detective on the stand was visibly shaken when asked to privately review images of Jasper's lifeless body.

The hearing is expected to last several more days.

After that, the DA has approximately 14 days to respond and make changes to the charges, including possibly dropping enhancements.

Photos from the courtroom in the video in the media player at the top were provided by The Berkeley Scanner.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live