4 suspects involved in death of fallen OPD officer plead not guilty, hope for speedy pre-trial

ByAnser Hassan and Lena Howland KGO logo
Friday, January 19, 2024
Suspects in death of OPD officer plead not guilty for speedy pre-trial
All four men charged in connection to the murder of Oakland Police Officer Tuan Le pleaded not guilty in court on Thursday.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- All four men charged in connection to the murder of Oakland Police Officer Tuan Le pleaded not guilty in court on Thursday.

One of the men, 34-year-old Marquise Cooper, the latest of the four men charged in this case, faces 16 felonies. This includes first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree burglary, according to court documents. Cooper was recently arrested in Southern California on Friday

"Right now, Mr. Cooper is being charged with murder. It is a felony murder theory. So there are certain elements and aspects they need to prove to attach to the homicide. I just don't think there is enough there for that," says attorney Ernie Castillo, representing Cooper.

Castillo says they want a speedy preliminary hearing.

RELATED: 3rd suspect charged with murder in death of Oakland Police Officer Tuan Le

"Because we feel our client is being overcharged in this case, we want to deal with that right away," Castillo said. "It is my understanding that my client was not present during the shooting, was not inside this building, had no involvement in what went down at the time of the homicide."

Officer Le was working undercover when he was fatally shot in the head while responding to a burglary call at a cannabis business in the early hours of Dec. 29.

Mark Sanders, 27, is accused of firing the fatal bullet. Allen Brown, 28, is accused of driving the getaway vehicle.

A fourth man, Sebron Russell, is charged with burglary and out on $270,000 bail. The judge gave him a curfew of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

RELATED: 2 suspects arrested for murder in killing of Oakland police officer Tuan Le

Russell is also seeking a speedy preliminary hearing.

"We entered a plea of not guilty today. We did not waive time. We exercised his right to a speedy preliminary hearing," said David Knutsen, the attorney representing Russell. "We did that because this is a weighted case, obviously. There is the media here. We have an officer who is no longer with us. But we would like to remove Mr. Russell from this narrative, and we think the best way to do that is to have a quick and speedy preliminary hearing."

Meanwhile, Knutsen and Castillo also raised concerns in court over delays in receiving discovery from the prosecution.

RELATED: Fallen OPD officer Tuan Le called 'superhero' by family at memorial service

A public memorial was held Wednesday morning for Oakland Police Officer Tuan Le, who was shot and killed while responding to a burglary.

"I am sure the district attorney is working on it diligently. But, yes, I have not been provided any discovery. We have about 19 pages at this point," Knutsen said.

"It is pretty important, especially as we are moving relatively quickly. We want to get all that information as soon as possible, do our own investigation, figure out the limited role my client had in this case," Castillo said.

A discovery hearing is set for Jan. 24. The preliminary hearing for March 4.

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office did not return request for comment.

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