Price offered a 15-year sentence for a man implicated in three murders, instead of the 75-years-to-life he originally faced.
ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- An Alameda Superior Court judge threw out a controversial plea deal by recently-elected District Attorney Pamela Price on Thursday. She offered a 15-year sentence for a man implicated in three murders, instead of the 75-years-to-life he originally faced.
The I-Team's Dan Noyes has been working on a deep dive into Price's new policies and their impact. And for that upcoming report, she refused to sit down for an interview. Furthermore, on Thursday, she would not answer any questions after the judge killed this plea deal.
Noyes asked Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price, "Ma'am, can I talk to you about this? No comment?" But she did not want to talk about Judge Mark McCannon throwing out the plea bargain she offered to 31-year-old Delonzo Logwood. He's accused of gunning down three people in a murder for hire, carjacking and robbery turned deadly. Logwood also allegedly killed a witness set to testify against his stepbrother. Instead of the 75 years-to-life Logwood faced, Price offered 15 years if he plead guilty to one count of voluntary manslaughter.
Bill Cole has been practicing law in Alameda County for 40 years and told us he's never seen anything like this. He came to watch the proceedings, and said it's very unusual for a judge to reject a plea deal approved by both the prosecution and defense, but, "When you are accused of killing a prospective witness in a case, this is a direct attack, not just on the people, the state of California, but judges regard this as an attack on the judicial system itself."
The I-Team took a photo of the victim's advocate being consoled by a prosecutor. She broke down in court reading a letter from the mother of Zaire Washington, one of Logwood's alleged victims. She wrote, "I strongly reject the deal. If he kills again, the blood will be on your hands. He's going to kill again."
Delonzo Logwood offered a brief apology in court for what he called "all the destruction I caused out there."
In his ruling to reject the plea bargain, the judge noted that the district attorney's office did not explain why they wanted the deal, either in writing or in person. And the judge questioned why the original prosecutor on the case, Stacie Pettigrew, was not present.
Noyes: "The prosecutor there today said he didn't know why Ms. Pettigrew wasn't there."
Cole: "Yeah, no, it wasn't his job to tell her not to show up. At least that's when he said, you know, there's a reason why she wasn't there. But he couldn't even tell the judge why."
But the I-Team has obtained an email from that Assistant DA in court, Jimmie Wilson, to Stacie Pettigrew Wednesday, saying, "I just talked to Pam (the district attorney) and she doesn't want you at the sentencing. Sorry."
Stacie Pettigrew turned in her letter of resignation before Thursday's sentencing, her last day March 31. One prosecutor still in the office tells us, Wilson not telling the judge is a serious matter, "We have an ethical duty of candor to the court. We cannot lie when asked a direct question."
District Attorney Pamela Price would discuss none of this, Dan Noyes asking, "Ma'am, seriously, any comment about this?"
She later released a written statement that she was "very disappointed" about the plea deal being rejected. "Now, the case will head to trial, and justice will continue to be delayed as it makes its way through the court system."
The next hearing is on April 5, to set a date for the trial. We're getting a lot of tips coming out of the district attorney's office.
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