Homicide Investigator, Technician Testify to Details in Carjacking/Murder Trial

By Sophia Barberini

ALAMEDA, CA – Two witnesses took the stand in Alameda County Superior Court Tuesday in the ongoing trial of Damone Haynes, who has been charged with carjacking and committing murder in a 2019 shooting.

Haynes was charged with murder after he allegedly shot and killed a man on Bancroft Ave. in Oakland in order to steal his vehicle, along with two other men, on July 26, 2019.

Judge Trina Thompson and the jury watched as Technician Christian Ramirez, who works for the Oakland Police Department, disclosed he collected multiple surveillance videos from multiple locations in his investigation for this case.

In cross-examination, the defense highlighted some time inconsistencies in the footage that Ramirez gathered, demonstrating that some of the footage that was provided by Ramirez as evidence was outside of the 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. time frame that he was assigned.

The defense also pointed out that Ramirez failed to search for any license plate readers in the surrounding areas, nor did he check any traffic camera footage.

The next witness, Officer Gerald Moriarty, a homicide investigator in the Oakland Police Department, said that at approximately 3:50 a.m. on July 26, 2019, he and his partner went on a “walk-through” of the scene to gather evidence and make observations.

On this walk-through Officer Moriarty was able to see the victim as well as potential evidence, including “four spent ammunition casings,” “one live round of ammunition,” a small bag of what he believed to be heroin, and some discarded cigarette butts. All of the ammunition, explained Moriarty, was for a 40 caliber weapon.

Officer Moriarty also described the condition of the victim, whose body was discovered in the bicycle lane of the westbound street.

“It appeared to me that he had been shot multiple times. I observed that he had a gunshot wound to his left temporal area, another wound to his upper left chest area, he had an apparent gunshot wound to his left hand, as well as to his upper left thigh,” the officer said.

Prior to leaving the scene, a witness notified Officer Moriarty that the victim often stayed in a van in the surrounding area. In response, he sent out a “track-flyer,” notifying officers to look for the van and murder suspects.

After sending out the track-flyer, Officer Moriarty received surveillance footage from Technician Ramirez. This footage, said Moriarty, “captured the murder [he] was investigating.”

Moreover, the footage revealed “the suspect’s vehicle making a three point turn and closely following the victim’s vehicle.” Oakland Police later located the suspect’s vehicle, learning that it belonged to a woman.

Officers also located the van the victim was known to stay in. In the van, officers discovered “two spent casings” for a 40 caliber weapon and “two apparent [bullet] strike marks.”

Officer Moriarty is set to detail evidence discovered in the suspect’s vehicle when court reconvenes.

About The Author

Sophia Barberini, from San Mateo, CA, is a fourth-year student at UC Berkeley. She is double majoring in Political Science and Legal Studies and hopes to pursue a career in law.

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