It was an interesting morning in court, with fireworks over the Jason Fletcher case, the former San Leandro police officer who is charged with killing Steven Taylor inside Walmart in 2020 while responding to a call for service.
Friday morning, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon shot down a DA motion to have defense attorney Michael Rains recused from the case. Last year, he rejected a Rains motion to recuse the entire DA's office from the matter.
Reardon did say he was "quite concerned" about a photograph described in court of DA Pamela Price, DDA Zachary Linowitz and the Taylor family, reportedly maligning Rains.
Linowitz said the DA's office has an "ethical obligation" to amplify the family's voice. The judge said it's a fine line between that and "overzealous commentary."
Rains says he now plans to renew his recusal motion given the judge's remarks.
In the meantime, Reardon said the case needs to go to trial, as it's going on four years since the fatal shooting. Trial is now set to start April 15, beginning with motions.
The case has our attention because it's been a priority for DA Pamela Price, including during her campaign for district attorney, and it also has ties to the criminal case against Butch Ford. A story is forthcoming.
Unfortunately, a migraine is getting in the way of more writing today, so we're pressing pause on several articles in the works. We know you'll understand!
Don't miss today's stories, including some updates on the Berkeley Apple Store.
Speaking of the Berkeley Apple Store, it was hit again Friday morning — bringing the grand theft/commercial burglary/retail theft tally to four incidents in as many weeks.
We're told BPD got a report of two males, ages 18-20, who reportedly took seven computers from the Apple Store at about 11:20 a.m. The investigation is ongoing.
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