Judge Declares Evidence against Man in Oakland Shooting Case is Sufficient to Set Trial

By Jake Romero

OAKLAND, CA — A preliminary hearing concluded Friday here at the René C. Davidson Courthouse/Alameda County Superior Court, and Judge Mark McCannon ruled there is sufficient evidence to hold James Spingola on two counts of first-degree attempted murder, despite the defense counsel’s claim Spingola fired in self-defense.

The charges stem from an incident in March 2021 when 31-year-old Spingola and an associate allegedly shot a man in East Oakland.

The victim, who also fired his weapon, was hit eight times—police recovered a total of 42 bullet casings from the scene.

Michael Romans-Rowe, one of the police officers who responded to the shooting, was the last witness to testify in the preliminary examination, and told Deputy District Attorney Maryam Ahmad surveillance footage of the crime scene showed Spingola dressed in all black exiting a Cadillac and the car’s license plate number.

Officer Romans-Rowe said he used still images of the footage to create an all-points bulletin. Two San Francisco police officers responded to the APB—they gave Spingola’s name to the witness and claimed he was involved in other violent crimes in their district.

A DMV file check on the license plate also produced the defendant’s name, according to the witness.

Following Officer Romans-Rowe’s testimony, the prosecution and defense directed Judge McCannon to various video evidence regarding which party fired the first shot.

Defense Attorney Ernesto Castillo referred to a video that shows Spingola drew his weapon last, after the victim and the victim’s associate had already fired. According to Castillo, Spingola’s part in the shooting was reactive, not premeditate—and not grounds for a first-degree attempted murder charge.

DDA Ahmad asked Judge McCannon to review a surveillance video that shows Spingola and his associate fired at the victim first while the victim’s back was turned.

“I think there is absolutely no self-defense argument,” said DDA Ahmad.

Judge McCannon said he believes there is enough evidence to hold the defendant on all charges against him and denied the defense’s request for release on monetary bail. Spingola also faces charges of street terrorism, causing great bodily injury and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Judge McCannon addressed Spingola when he concluded the hearing.

“You’re in custody now, and you got two kids that are sitting at your house that your wife has to take care of by herself. That’s a problem,” Judge McCannon said. “That’s a problem, when people who look like me and you are out there with guns shooting at people. There’s no excuse for it.”

Spingola’s arraignment hearing is scheduled for Oct. 28.

About The Author

Jake is a senior at UC Berkeley studying English & Journalism.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for