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Saturday, 28 February 2009

Alberto Alvarez, 25, has been charged with shooting and killing of an East Palo Alto cop

Alberto Alvarez, 25, of East Palo Alto, has been charged with shooting and killing May on the afternoon of Jan. 7, 2006. May had responded to reports of a fight outside a restaurant near University Avenue and Weeks Street in East Palo Alto and chased Alvarez down Weeks before Alvarez allegedly shot and killed May.
About 250 officers from Peninsula agencies locked down the area of the shooting, searching cars that were leaving the area, and Alvarez was discovered hiding in the back seat of a car trying to leave the area the next morning.Alvarez was described by East Palo Alto police as a member of the Sacramento Street gang, which has since been largely dismantled through arrests.San Mateo County Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, who will be prosecuting the case, said that there may normally be 10-15 pre-trial motions regarding evidence before a felony trial begins. Wagstaffe said he expects as many as 60 motions in this case, all of which must argued before Judge Craig Parsons, before a jury is seated and testimony begins.Jury selection isn't scheduled to begin until March 23, after all the motions regarding which evidence the jury will hear have been decided.Because the prosecution is asking for the death penalty, the jury selection could take a month to five weeks, when it normally takes about a week, Wagstaffe said. The jurors will be selected, in part, on their willingness to accept a death penalty if Alvarez is found guilty.Such delays are not unusual for capital punishment cases, Wagstaffe said, nor is the delay of more than three years since the arrest and beginning of the trial.


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