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OAKLAND -- In the days before Sandra Coke's decaying body was found in a dry creek bed in Vacaville, her accused killer, Randy Alana, told a fellow inmate that he "(expletive) up this time," that inmate said in court Tuesday.

The 29-year-old inmate, whose father grew up with Alana, 56, in West Oakland, said when Alana first saw that they were in the same housing unit, Alana struck up a conversation and said, "I (expletive) up this time, but they don't got nothing on me."

Other than that comment, the inmate said, Alana appeared not to have any worries as he frequently socialized with other inmates during "pod time" and never seemed concerned when television news reports talked about the case and how Coke, 50, was still missing.

Randy Alana, Sandra Coke
Randy Alana, Sandra Coke (Laura Oda)

Coke went missing on Aug. 4. Two days later, Alana, who was initially named as a person of interest in the case, was taken into custody at Santa Rita Jail for a parole violation.

Alana's lack of reaction surprised the inmate who said that he would have been a bundle of nerves had his girlfriend gone missing.

"He wasn't crying or nothing. If that was my girl, I would have been crying," the inmate said. "He was just normal. There was no sympathy or nothing; he was just normal."

The inmate's name is not being printed at the request of deputy district attorney Colleen McMahon, who also made a deal with the inmate in order to have him testify. The inmate was arrested in July on numerous drug-related charges and for fleeing police. He was also charged with a DUI.


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McMahon offered to allow the inmate to withdraw his plea deal on the drug case to receive a better deal and less time in jail if he testified.

The inmate's testimony, however, was not fluent, and he continued to appear not to want to talk while Alana stared at him. Details he gave a police officer during a taped conversation were left out of his testimony in court Tuesday.

Nevertheless, McMahon repeatedly reminded the inmate of what he said before in order to have the details revealed in court.

The inmate said that he had asked Alana about Coke and the case before Coke was found dead. At that time, the inmate said, Alana appeared willing to discuss some aspects of his relationship with Coke, including the fact they had a 15-year-old daughter and that they had recently gotten into an argument.

Alana also bragged about being able to escape from his parole officer and from Oakland police twice before his nephew helped set up his arrest, the inmate said.

Alana, however, "shut down," the inmate said, after reports were shown that police had found Coke's body.

"He kind of shut down; he wasn't talking as much," the inmate said.

Alana also began requesting all news stories about the case be saved for him to read, the inmate said.

The inmate will continue testifying Wednesday morning.