OAKLAND -- Darnell Williams was ordered Monday to stand trial on a murder charge and other allegations in the fatal shooting of 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine during a sleepover at an East Oakland home last July.
But Alameda County Superior Court Judge C. Don Clay dismissed all charges against co-defendant Joseph Carroll after prosecutor John Brouhard conceded that there was a lack of evidence to prove the prosecution's theory that Alaysha was killed as a result of a conspiracy organized by Carroll to seek revenge against the man he thought had killed his cousin several hours earlier.
However, Carroll, 27, will remain in custody because he and three other men are still charged with conspiracy to commit murder for allegedly making several attempts to kill two other men they believe had "disrespected" Carroll and his brother in an unrelated incident last September.
Williams, 22, is accused of firing multiple shots into an apartment in the 3400 block of Wilson Street about 11:15 p.m. July 17, killing Alaysha and wounding two other children and their 63-year-old grandmother.
Prosecutors allege that the shooting was in retaliation for the shooting death of 26-year-old Jermaine Davis, which happened several hours earlier in the 1800 block of Derby Street in Berkeley. Davis was Carroll's cousin and a close friend of Williams, according to Oakland police.
Antiowne York, 25, of Pittsburg, was charged last week with murder in Davis' death.
Prosecutors in the Alaysha Carradine murder case alleged that Williams and Carroll went to the apartment on Wilson Street because they believed it was where the mother of York's two children lived. The two children wounded in the shooting are York's children, prosecutors said.
In addition to the murder charge for Alaysha's death, Clay ordered Williams to stand trial on a charge that he also murdered 22-year-old Anthony Medearis in the 1400 block of Eighth Street in Berkeley in a separate shooting that happened about 5:45 p.m. Sept. 8, about seven weeks after Alaysha was killed.
Clay, at the end of a preliminary hearing that spanned parts of four days, also ordered Williams to stand trial on three counts of attempted murder for the three people wounded in the shooting that killed Alaysha. Williams also faces three special-circumstance allegations: committing multiple murders, lying in wait in the shooting that claimed Alaysha's life, and murdering Medearis during the course of an attempted robbery.
Carroll's attorney, Ernie Castillo, said after the hearing that he is "extremely happy that Mr. Carroll's name has been cleared" from the shooting that killed Alaysha.
Castillo admitted that Carroll was "upset" that Davis had been killed but said his client never had thoughts of killing York.