Jury Trial Ongoing in Assault Case Involving Alleged Deadly Threats, Police Lack of Response

By Anna Olsen and Ankita Joshi

ALAMEDA, CA – During the trial of Salaha McClellan here in Alameda County Superior Court Monday a husband and wife testified about the continued harassment they faced by a neighbor and the inadequacy of the police to keep them safe.

McClellan was arrested on Jan. 24 and charged with exhibiting a deadly weapon and threatening a crime with an intent to terrorize.

The prosecution explained how McClellan held a golf club over his head and threatened the victim by telling her “tonight you are going to die.”

Oakland police officers arrived on the scene and found the golf club located in the accused’s car.

This wasn’t the first time McClellan had threatened the victim and her family, however, said the prosecution, noting that on Nov. 16, 2021, the accused approached the victim’s husband and threatened to kill him and his family, stating, “Once you leave, I am going to come back and kill your wife and kids.”

The husband stayed home after those threats were made, as he was scared that the defendant was going to put his wife and children in danger, said the prosecution, adding, “This is a case about an inability to feel safe in and around your own home. I am confident that you will find the defendant guilty on both counts.”

The defense argued McClellan had never brandished a weapon nor made criminal threats toward the family and that the physical evidence didn’t line up with the allegations.

The defense said McClellan had been living out of his car near the victims’ house for seven months, in which he continuously screamed profanities at the family. The victim’s husband had been calling the police for months attempting to receive some help, but received none.

The defense argued that when the victims called the police on Jan. 24, “they crafted a story that would get officers to their house, and get Mr. McClellan arrested.

“But this story wasn’t true. It left out details and exaggerated key facts in an attempt to get the police to actually do something,” said the defense, charging the victims had a motive to lie about the actions of McClellan out of desperation to get the police to take action.

The defense added, “Mr. McClellan is being accused of committing crimes he never committed, and you are here to put a stop to this injustice. You are the only people left to put a stop to this injustice.”

Three videos taken on Nov. 16, 2021, were shown to the court that allegedly depicted the events leading up to the victim’s husband confronting the defendant with a metal rod.

The victim explained that after her husband had confronted McClellan, the accused walked to another block and had returned with another person who had helped him jump his car with cables, but still had not left the street in front of their house.

The next witness who took the stand was the victim’s husband, who outlined that McClellan had continuously been harassing him, and threatening to kill him and his wife and kids.

The victim’s husband also corroborated that McClellan had only moved his car a couple feet, and then had returned to occupying the space in front of their house.

At this point, another video was shown to the court, in which McClellan could be heard screaming, “I’m going to kill everyone in that house!”

The trial session ended with the defense asking the victim’s husband whether they had ever reached out to the number that the police had given them to get a restraining order against the defendant.

The victim’s husband said his wife had called, but no one had answered.

She, then, had gone in person to the office, but had found the office closed due to the pandemic.

The trial is set to reconvene Tuesday.

About The Author

Anna Olsen is a recent UC Berkeley graduate originally from Seattle, WA. She double majored in law and global studies and plans to head to law school after taking a gap year to become a juvenile defense attorney.

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