By Michelle Luu and Evelyn Peralta
SACRAMENTO, CA — Three men accused of shooting and killing one person, and injuring another, in a hotel parking lot will continue to be held with no bail after a hearing this week at Sacramento County Superior Court.
According to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, the two victims were attending a New Year’s Eve party on Jan. 1, 2020, in a Sacramento hotel when the two defendants approached them and began shooting at them in the hotel’s parking lot.
The other defendant was driving the truck that acted as the getaway vehicle and allowed the two shooters to flee the scene of the crime, the district attorney is alleging.
Several shots were fired that night and the murdered victim was hit by several gunshots in his upper body, resulting in his death. The other victim was shot as well, but did not receive any life-threatening injuries.
The shooting occurred in a public parking lot near the 2600 block of Auburn Boulevard and could have resulted in injuries involving other civilians in the surrounding area, according to Deputy District Attorney Kristen Andersen. However, no one else was harmed.
It was theorized that the shooting occurred because the victims had “snitched off” to law enforcement, reported Judge Geoffrey Goodman.
The defendants, Robert Massingale (22), Alizey Whitfield (23), and Darquan Jackson (25), were arrested on January 24, 2020, for their alleged crimes.
Law enforcement alleges the three men are associated with each other through gang activity, specifically the Del Paso Heights gang.
Massingale and Whitfield are also said to be brothers, while Jackson was connected to them through social media and the three men had contacted each other in the evening before the shooting.
Darquan Jackson was charged for murder and assault of another person with a firearm, with gang enhancements attached to his crimes. Jackson was theorized to be one of the two shooters in the crime and was identified based on the clothes that he was wearing at the time.
Robert Massingale was not one of the alleged shooters, however; he may have been involved in alleged aiding and abetting, allege authorities, as the driver that assisted the other two defendants fleeing from the scene.
One witness was reported to be near the back of Massingale’s truck and saw the two shooters jump into the truck. It was also confirmed by Massingale that the two other men in his truck were Whitfield and Jackson, according to DDA Andersen.
Prosecutor Andersen reported that the three men met up before the shooting, and theorized that the crime proceeded as follows: Jackson and Whitfield went to the truck, grabbed the firearms, and then walked to the parking lot.
As this was happening, Massingale drove in front of them, exiting the parking lot, and stopped and picked them up as they jumped the fence and left the shooting scene.
While Massingale’s court-appointed private lawyer Amy Rogers argued it could have been possible that he wasn’t aware that the other two were going to be committing the crime, Andersen countered that statement.
According to prosecutor Andersen, numerous rounds of ammunition were found in his truck, including gun cleaning kits and ammunition that were consistent with the spent casings found at the scene of the crime. Massingale also had another pending case at the time that charged him for possession of a firearm.
Whitfield was allegedly the second shooter at the site. Judge Goodman said that Whitfield’s case was one of the stronger ones. At the time of the crime, he was already on felony probation for being a felon in possession of a gun, and his last felony was another gun charge.
“He’s quite young,” Michelle Trigger, Jackson’s Public Defender, insisted. She argued that, due to his age and his lack of an adult criminal record, bail should be considered. At 25, Jackson only has juvenile charges, none as serious as the current one, which could net him 50 years to life.
Martin Tejeda, Whitfield’s court-appointed attorney, suggested the Brother to Brother, a program made for helping men with gang relations or criminal records and assisting the young black and brown men in the community, could help his client.
Whitfield is the second youngest at 23, and Tejeda believed that if he left custody, Whitfield could redeem himself with the assistance of a supportive group.
In response to the bail recommendations, Andersen said, “There’s no amount of money that will keep the people of Sacramento County safe…”
The judge ordered all three defendants held in custody with no bail.