Reporter covering courts and justice for the Oakland Tribune and Bay Area News Group. Email me at

Gov. Brown appoints two Alameda County public defenders to judgeship — Posted: 03/27/2015 02:12:31 PM PDT Updated: 03/27/2015 02:12:33 PM PDT OAKLAND -- Two longtime Alameda County public defenders were appointed to judgeships by the governor Friday. Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Andrew Steckler and James Cramer to the Alameda County Superior Court bench to fill vacancies created by the retirements of judges Joan Cartwright and Hugh Walker.

Attorney: Client was trying to save friend when Oakland mother was killed by crossfire — Posted: 03/26/2015 02:49:22 PM PDT Updated: 03/26/2015 02:49:23 PM PDT OAKLAND -- An attorney for one of three men charged with murder in the death of a West Oakland mother hit by crossfire said Thursday that his client only became involved in the gunbattle to save a friend's life.

Witness says Randy Alana told him he killed another woman in 1983 — Posted: 03/25/2015 02:58:18 PM PDT Updated: 03/25/2015 02:58:18 PM PDT OAKLAND -- A key witness in Randy Alana's first murder trial in 1986 said Wednesday that Alana confessed to killing another Oakland woman 30 years before he allegedly killed Sandra Coke.

Alameda County agrees to allocate more realignment funds to community-based organizations — Posted: 03/24/2015 04:44:50 PM PDT Updated: 03/24/2015 04:44:50 PM PDT OAKLAND -- Alameda County will approximately double the money it spends on programs helping people coming out of jail and prison under a plan approved by supervisors Tuesday.

Oakland mother takes plea deal in toddler's death — Posted: 03/24/2015 03:13:27 PM PDT Updated: 03/24/2015 03:13:28 PM PDT OAKLAND -- An Oakland mother has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter for her 2-year-old son's death by cocaine ingestion, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office said Tuesday. Fayson Howard, 40, was sentenced Feb.

Sandra Coke's daughter 'had a gut feeling' something was wrong — Posted: 03/23/2015 04:24:19 PM PDT Updated: 03/23/2015 04:27:58 PM PDT OAKLAND -- With a friend by her side for moral support, Sandra Coke's teen daughter testified Monday at her biological father Randy Alana's murder trial. "Something must be wrong: I just had a gut feeling," the 17-year-old said, recalling the night her mother disappeared.

Judge recuses himself in hit-and-run case in Dublin — Posted: 03/20/2015 03:52:28 PM PDT Updated: 03/20/2015 03:52:31 PM PDT HAYWARD -- A San Francisco labor attorney on Friday withdrew his no contest plea to charges in the 2012 hit-and-running killing of Chinese tourist in Dublin.

San Lorenzo man pleads not guilty to murder charges in 14 year old's hit-and-run killing — Posted: 03/20/2015 12:49:23 PM PDT Updated: 03/20/2015 12:52:30 PM PDT HAYWARD -- An ex-convict accused of killing a 14-year-old San Lorenzo boy in a hit-and-run while trying to evade police pleaded not guilty to murder and other felony charges this week.

Best friend says Sandra Coke planned to sever all ties to her accused killer — Posted: 03/19/2015 02:39:41 PM PDT Updated: 03/19/2015 02:51:41 PM PDT OAKLAND -- Sandra Coke was "playing nice" with Randy Alana because she was desperate to retrieve her abducted dog Ginny, the slain Oakland mother's best friend testified Thursday.

Oakland: Sandra Coke's "obsession" with missing dog "got her killed," the defense says — Posted: 03/18/2015 03:46:16 PM PDT Updated: 03/18/2015 04:00:15 PM PDT OAKLAND -- It was federal defender investigator Sandra Coke's "obsession" with finding her missing dog that "got her killed" by an unknown person in August 2013, an attorney for career criminal Randy Alana told jurors Wednesday.
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Mar 27, 2015

@MichaelClayman I've been working. Don't really have a response. I was live tweeting and I wrote that the 1st dissenting juror was a woman.

Mar 27, 2015

"I'm going home emotional," says one of two dissenting jurors in #kleinerperkins #ellenpao discrimination case.

Mar 27, 2015

Pao: "If I helped to level the playing field for women and minorities in venture capital then the battle was worth it."

Mar 27, 2015

#EllenPao surrounded by reporters after losing gender discrimination case

Mar 27, 2015

There's no verdict because the jury is not done deliberating. #EllenPao judge tells media to stick around.

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