ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — A court case in Alameda County that once involved a triple-murder accusation has now been reduced to a single-murder charge. A controversial plea deal was rejected by the court.
In an exclusive interview with KRON4, Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price says the last murder charge is also in jeopardy of being dismissed.
“It is possible that Mr. Logwood will serve no time in this case,” Price said.
You may recall headlines earlier this year regarding Price seeking a plea deal for 2008 triple-murder suspect Delonzo Logwood. That plea would have reduced his potential time behind bars from 75 years down to 15 years for a single voluntary manslaughter charge. At that time, Judge Mark McCannon rejected that plea.
The DA and defense sought, unsuccessfully, to have the judge removed from the case. Since then, that same judge has dismissed two of the murder charges against Logwood who has been behind bars waiting for his day in court since 2015.
“What we believe people should now understand is that we came into a situation where we recognized that there were some serious problems with the case,” Price said.
Price says the problem is the star witness, a convicted felon, previously accepted a plea deal to testify against Logwood in exchange for a reduced prison sentence. However, there was no mechanism in the deal to compel the witness to testify.
When he was recently released from jail, he didn’t testify.
“The case was charged by Nancy O’Malley,” said criminal defense attorney Paula Canny.
Canny has been paying close attention to the Logwood case since the new DA took it over.
“The agreement with the now recalcitrant witness was done before Pamela Price was the DA. I’m sure that a lot of different people had input into that,” Canny said. “I suppose the lesson is, if you’re going to get an agreement to compel testimony, you have to craft an agreement that is ultimately enforceable no matter who the elected DA is.”
Price says she and her team realized a 75-year sentence was unrealistic after examing the evidence. Now that the 15-year sentence went out the window with the rejected plea of the three murder charges against Logwood, only one remains.
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“We made the right decision! Now, unfortunately, because of the delay and the questions around the other evidence, the best we will do at this point may be less than the 15-years,” Price said.
Officials at the DA’s office say the judge has moved forward by seating a jury for a trial of 32-year-old Delonzo Logwood who has maintained his innocence throughout his case.