By Jonathan Lewis
ALAMEDA, CA – Alameda County Superior Court Judge Mark McCannon granted a motion last week brought by the Alameda District Attorney’s Office to drop two murder charges against Delonzo Logwood, who still faces another murder charge.
McCannon was targeted by the DA’s Office when the judge in late March refused to OK the deal he now has granted.
The DA said she wanted to disqualify McCannon from doing criminal trials, charging the judge “overstepped his boundaries” and “created a firestorm of prejudicial comments that do not, in my view, serve justice.”
Logwood was charged with three counts of murder in 2015 for the deaths of Richard Carter, Eric Ford and Zaire Washington. The charges regarding Carter and Washington were dropped due to a non-cooperating witness, who was pivotal to the case, said the DA.
The witness made a deal with former Deputy District Attorney Stacie Pettigrew to provide testimony against Logwood in 2018, and the witness has no further obligations from the agreement, said the DA, adding the witness received a 12-year reduction from his 31-year sentence in exchange for his testimony, and he was released in February 2023.
In a press release, Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price attacked the credibility of the witness, stating “his testimony was very problematic in terms of contradicting objective facts and our ability to secure a conviction in any of the cases was extremely tenuous.”
DA Price also said she believes Logwood was overcharged by her predecessor’s administration, DA Nancy O’Malley, which is why she attempted to resolve the case with a plea deal earlier this year.
“We concluded that the previous administration had overcharged and mismanaged the case, and that’s why we worked so hard in January and February to arrive at a negotiated settlement. The Court’s rejection of that proposed plea agreement in March created an unexpected barrier to our efforts to resolve the case,” Price said.
Judge McCannon denied the plea deal because he said he did not like the optics of the alleged 18-year-old murderer apologizing to the victim’s families while still claiming his innocence, stating, “You can’t think an apology will make this all better. What are you sorry for if you didn’t do anything?”
“We learned back in January that this witness was not guaranteed to testify,” said Price, adding, “Today, the judge has accepted our evaluation of the evidence in the case and dismissed the two murder charges to match the evidence in the case.”