By Yuanqi Ivy Zhou
SACRAMENTO – A Sacramento man accused of being the driver in a gang shooting that left two juveniles playing basketball at McClatchy Park severely wounded was held in custody with no bail—although his lawyer argued it should be set at $250,000—after a hearing here Aug. 6 in Sacramento County Superior Court.
Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Wise of the Wise Law Group requested to address bail on behalf of Defendant Antwain West, the alleged driver in a gang shooting at McClatchy Park.
When discussing bail on this case, Deputy District Attorney Bret Wasley pointed out that the defendant had a prior strike conviction for residential burglary, and recounted the current charge for the court.
In an evening in June, the defendant, said Wasley, was driving a Dodge Charger with fellow gang members around McClatchy Park. The defendant and his fellow gang members were looking to exact revenge for the front passenger who was previously shot by another gang member in a gang dispute.
After arriving at McClatchy Park, the defendant and his crew encountered several juveniles who were playing basketball. Soon after, there were several shots fired at the juvenile basketball players. One victim was shot in the mouth while the other was shot in the chest.
Though both victims were able to escape the shooting scene, they were severely injured. After escaping, they submitted their statements to the police who immediately contacted the defendant.
During the process of investigation, the police found evidence against West and the other gang members—they uncovered a phone recording of West stating, “I’m going down for the shooting,” and even found a hot pistol on the floorboard of West’s car.
In response to these accusations, Wise argued that bail should be reduced for West because he was diagnosed with learning disabilities and speech challenges in 2007, the two young men injured in the specific case were able to run away and speak to the police officers on site, West had no prior convictions for violence, and he is a lifelong resident of Sacramento with strong family support.
To back his claim, Wise described that “many of West’s family members have been in the law office to support, represent and vouch for him to make sure he stays safe and can return home.”
However, these claims were rejected by Court Commissioner Ken Brody after evidence provided by Deputy District Attorney Bret Wasley. Brody concluded, “Based on his strike priors and the nature of this offense, we have legitimate concerns for public safety.” He ordered that there should be no bail.
Although Wise argued for $250,000 instead, Brody said, “Two individuals who were juveniles were actually shot and that this was alleged to be a gang retaliation shooting, in conjunction that the defendant’s prior strike offense the fact that he has gone to prison, the court believes that the defendant is a danger to public safety to the extent that the court will not deviate to the bail schedule, leaving bail set at no bail.”
Further proceedings regarding this case will be discussed on August 19, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. in Sacramento Superior Court, Department 61.
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