By William McCurry
SAN FRANCISCO – In two unrelated cases, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said his office has filed charges against Lawrence Thomas and Tyjone Flournoy for the murder of 76-year-old private investigator Jack Palladino, and Antoine Watson for the murder of 86-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee.
“My heart goes out to the families of both victims for these senseless, violent attacks. These horrific crimes cause seniors and all of us to feel unsafe,” stated Boudin. He claims that violent crimes are his top priority and will hold the people who committed these crimes accountable for murder.
Palladino was well known in the San Francisco area from his decades of service as an investigator, noted Boudin, adding “Our hearts ache for his family.”
When the two suspects were initially charged, Palladino was still living so they were facing attempted murder. Now, the District Attorney’s Office, once it receives the cause of death, expects to amend the charges to murder.
The Palladino suspects have also been charged with attempted robbery; kidnapping to commit a robbery; assault with a deadly weapon; assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury; elder abuse; and false imprisonment.
Another terrible homicide happened on Jan. 28, when 86-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee was attacked in the Anza Vista neighborhood.
Earlier that day, suspect Watson was pulled over by officers for traffic violations involving a minor collision. Through body cam footage, Watson was identified as the suspect in the murder. Watson has been charged with murder and elder abuse causing death.
The murder of Ratanapakdee had been especially painful to the American Asian Pacific Islander community, who have been victimized in many incidents of violence, hate, and racism since the start of the global pandemic.
Both cases have ongoing investigations and Boudin said he is in contact with Police Chief William Scott and Mayor London Breed, who promote public safety in San Francisco.
William McCurry is a fourth year at Sacramento State, majoring in Criminal Justice. He is from Brentwood, California.
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