Investigator Questioned during Assault with a Gang Enhancement Hearing

By Alexandra Cline

SACRAMENTO, CA. – At least 30 exhibits of evidence were used in court to evaluate whether the defendants were involved in gangs.

In response to COVID-19, courthouses have been transferring hearings online to continue with proceedings. On April 29, 2020, via Zoom live-streamed on the Sacramento Superior Court Channel on YouTube, a hearing was held for an assault charge with a gang enhancement.

The defendant, Josiah Ezeikel Jones, represented by Defense Counsel James Clark Head, appeared in the Zoom conference from home and is currently out of custody. Wayne Lee Barfield, represented by Defense Counsel Stone, appeared in custody. Judge Ernest Sawtelle oversaw the case and faced some technical sound issues during the hearing.

Assistant District Attorney Timothy Carr displayed pictures on a shared screen from Josiah Jones’ social media pages, including Facebook and Instagram. He asked Investigator M. Kraintz to identify the people in the pictures and the hand gestures they were making. A few pictures show Defendant Josiah Jones posing and allegedly making a gang sign from the Del Paso Heights Blood Gang.

A screenshot of a live video on social media supposedly shows two gang members discussing an assault, and saying that they didn’t want the police involved. Other pictures show Josiah Jones, and other alleged gang members making upside-down hand signs for another gang, “Hell Gang.”

During the direct examination of Investigator M. Kraintz, he stated that this gesture showed disrespect of the gang. He also indicated that many of Josiah Jones’ tattoos referenced gang affiliation, including a capital “B” in the middle of his chest, which allegedly stands for “Blood Gang.” One picture showed a cake with a gang name in frosting letters, with Josiah Jones holding cash next to it.

Another piece of evidence was a post titled “MySpace days,” with many gang-affiliated street names, and a comment: “If you don’t remember this pic it’s an issue.” There was also a picture of a man who was shot, sitting in the hospital with stitches and breathing tubes, which was found on Josiah Jones’ Facebook page and his personal phone.

DA Tim Carr asked Investigator Kraintz if harming this person would benefit the Del Paso Heights Blood Gang. He stated that it would because it instills fear in other gangs, and enhances power of the culprit within the gang. Another picture read “rest in peace Mark,” who is allegedly a deceased Del Paso Heights Blood gang member.

Another picture showed a group of men making similar hand gestures. Investigator Kraintz said that the red and purple that they were wearing showed that they were a part of a gang.

During cross-examination, Defense Counsel Stone asked  the investigator about a fight that occurred in the store, “Foot Action.” She confirmed that Investigator Kraintz saw the surveillance video of the fight and the aftermath.

The trial will resume on April 30, 2020, in Department 61, via Zoom, live-streamed on the Sacramento Superior Court Channel on YouTube.

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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